#OnThisDay: Bloody Sunday

1965 Spider Martin

Today marks the anniversary of Bloody Sunday, a march held in Selma, Alabama, in 1965 for the 600 people attacked on the Edmund Pettus Bridge. It was there that law enforcement officers beat unarmed marchers with billy clubs and sprayed them with tear gas.

A black-and-white photograph of Amelia Boynton Robinson

A black-and-white photograph of Amelia Boynton Robinson, who is weak from being attacked and gassed by Alabama State Troopers. Credit: © 1965 Spider Martin

Activist Amelia Boynton Robinson was brutally beaten by Alabama state troopers during the march. This photo drew national attention to the cause and captured the brutality of the struggle for African American voting rights. Robinson was a leading organizer of the march, working directly with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Robinson had a history of activism, co-founding the Dallas County Voters League in 1933, and held African American voter registration drives in Selma from the 1930s to the 1950s.

A black-and-white photograph of the March 7, 1965 assault on Civil Rights marchers by Alabama state police officers termed "Bloody Sunday."

A black-and-white photograph of the March 7, 1965 assault on Civil Rights marchers by Alabama state police officers termed "Bloody Sunday." The troopers, wearing gas masks and brandishing nightsticks, set upon marchers along US Highway 80. Credit: © 1965 Spider Martin

Later that year, the Voting Rights Act passed, a landmark federal achievement of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement. #HiddenHerstory

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