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Selma to Montgomery March III

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Marchers and flags
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Selma to Montgomery March for voting rights: 1965
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Selma to Montgomery March for voting rights: 1965
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Selma to Montgomery March for voting rights: 1965
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Selma to Montgomery March for voting rights: 1965
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Portrait of marcher
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Selma to Montgomery March for voting rights: 1965
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Marcher wrapped in flag
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Selma to Montgomery March for voting rights: 1965
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Marchers Listen to King
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Marcher Takes a Break
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Portrait of marcher
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Selma to Montgomery March for voting rights: 1965
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King Speaking Before March
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Portrait of marcher
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Alabama Preschool
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Alabama Preschool
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Marchers, flags enter Montgomery
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Rural Spectators Applaud March
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Selma to Montgomery March for voting rights: 1965
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Selma to Montgomery March for voting rights: 1965
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Marchers enter Montgomery
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Selma to Montgomery March for voting rights: 1965
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Selma to Montgomery March for voting rights: 1965
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Marchers Along Route
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Selma to Montgomery March III

Aftermath: Immediately following the march, volunteers began driving carloads of foot-weary marchers back to Selma. Viola Liuzzo, a white housewife from Detroit, was one of these volunteers, and on a lonely stretch of highway 80 she was overtaken and gunned down by Klansmen. One of the men in the Klan car was later discovered to be an FBI informant.

Liuzzo's death gave further impetus to the Voting Rights Bill, which wound it's way through Congress and finally reached President Johnson's desk on August 6th, 1965. Passage of the bill, a major milestone for the civil rights movement, was certainly hastened by the Selma March, but it did not by any means end racial discrimination in the South (or the North). It did allow blacks to register and vote in swelling numbers, however, and this brought real political change, particularly at the local level.

By the following summer, 9,000 blacks had registered to vote in Dallas County. Sheriff Jim Clark was thrown out of office, and over the next decade black sheriffs were elected in virtually every deep South county where black voters achieved a majority.

The Bill began to gradually affect politics at higher levels, too, as movement leaders began to refocus on gaining and using political power. Julian Bond moved into the Georgia Statehouse. John Lewis was elected to Congress. Marion Barry became Mayor of Washington. Andrew Young was appointed Ambassador to the UN, and then elected Mayor of Atlanta. By 1984, black mayors had been elected in 255 US cities.


 


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