(The Beginning) / (The Prize)
[Side A:](The Beginning)
The major civil rights protest, which focused national attention on the issue of racial discrimination in voting & led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, was centered in Selma.
In January of 1963 local citizens organized a voter registration class & by February others were in Selma to assist with registration. Local law officials & blacks seeking to register to vote soon clashed & this received widespread news coverage.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. came to Selma in January of 1965 to lead the drive to vote. This began the marches to the Dallas County Courthouse, the great number of arrests, the ensuing violence, & national media attention on Selma & the issue of voter registration.
[Side B:](The Prize)
On Sunday March 7, 1965, 600 people led by Hosea Williams & John Lewis began a march to Montgomery to take their quest for voting rights directly to Governor George C. Wallace. At the Pettus bridge they were met by state troopers who used horses, tear gas & billy clubs to break up the march.
A march on March 9, led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. met the troopers at the same place & turned around without incident.
The Federal Court ruled the march was legal & with Federal protection 4,000 began the march to Montgomery on March 21. Camping along the road the protesters reached 25,000 in number by the time they reached the State Capital on March 25.
National news coverage of these events secured wide-spread support & led to the approval of the Voting Rights Act on August 6, 1865.