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Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Bloody Sunday

This Day in History: March 7, 1965

Today in History: First March from Selma
What began as a peaceful march in Selma, Alabama on March 7, 1965 became a day of brutal violence unexpected by the almost 600 civil rights demonstrators and unwarranted by state troopers and a sheriff's posse of volunteer officers. The killing of a young black man, Jimmie Lee Jackson, by a state trooper on February 18 was the primary catalyst for the demonstration. Jackson was killed by a state trooper during a voter registration march in Marion, AL on February 18th. He had tried to register to vote without success for four years.

The New York Times on March 8 described the day’s events while peaceful marchers met violent resistance. Upon approaching the Edmund Pettus Bridge six blocks away, the demonstrators were ordered by the police to disperse. When they stood in place, the troopers charged at them. State and local lawmen attacked the marchers with billy clubs and tear gas driving them back into Selma.
Alabama Police confront the Selma Marchers
Federal Bureau of Investigation Photograph
“The first 10 or 20 Negroes were swept to the ground screaming, arms and legs flying and packs and bags went skittering across the grassy divider strip and on to the pavement on both sides,” The Times wrote. “Those still on their feet retreated. The troopers continued pushing, using both the force of their bodies and the prodding of their nightsticks.”

Amelia Boynton, assumed dead, was one of the first victims struck down at the foot of Edmund Pettus Bridge. Boynton was a leader of the American Civil Rights Movement. In 2012, at the age of 101, Amelia Boynton Robinson attended the Democratic Convention. In her own words she recalled "I was the one that was left for dead, if you saw the picture of the person who was lying down," she said. That photo of Robinson, laying unconscious and bloodied in a man's arms, appeared in publications across the country. 

More than 50 demonstrators suffered bodily injuries as a result of meeting violent, brutal force. Reports cited the victims had suffered fractures of ribs, heads, arms and legs, in addition to cuts and bruises. That fateful march became widely known as "Bloody Sunday."

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