Crime History: March 7, 1965: ‘Bloody Sunday’ in Alabama rouses civil rights movement

Martin Luther King leads the march for civil rights over the Selma, Alabama Edmund Pettus Bridge, 1965.

Martin Luther King leads the march for civil rights over the Selma, Alabama Edmund Pettus Bridge, 1965.

On this day, March 7, in 1965, state troopers and a sheriffs posse used tear gas and billy clubs to break up a march by civil rights demonstrators in Selma, Ala.

Televised images of the brutal attack, now known as Bloody Sunday, awakened support for the civil rights movement.

The Selma march was inspired by the death of Jimmie Lee Jackson, 26, who was shot by Alabama State Trooper James Fowler while trying to protect his mother at a civil rights demonstration.

A grand jury declined to indict Fowler in 1965. But in 2007, 42 years after the crime, Fowler was charged with first- and second- degree murder.

Fowler, then 77, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 2010 and was sentenced to six months in jail.

— Scott McCabe

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Comments

  1. Two weeks to the day when Malcolm X was assassinated in New York City.

  2. Reblogged this on Brittius.com.

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