Selma, Alabama ... City of Violence

Annie69 By Annie69, 29th Dec 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>History

Selma, Alabama, was an important military manufacturing center during the War Between the States. It became the scene of other violence during the 1960s.

1865

During the American War Between the States, Selma, Alabama, was an important military manufacturing center for the Confederacy. It produced more supplies, munitions, and ironclads than any other Southern city except Richmond, Virginia.

It was for this reason that Selma was high on the Union list of places to capture or destroy.

On three separate occasions Selma was the object of an attack by Union forces. General William Tecumseh Sherman only made it as far as Meridian before he was forced to retreat to the Mississippi River. General Benjamin Grierson attempted to reach Selma from Memphis, but was turned back. A third attempt was made by General Lovell Rousseau but he, too, failed and ended up forty miles east of Montgomery.

It wasn't until the fourth attempt led by Major General James Wilson that Selma finally fell just before the war ended.

"Bloody Sunday" ... March 7, 1965

The War Between the States, and slavery, ended in 1865, but the war for equality was alive and well one hundred years later. The US Supreme Court had legalized "Equal but Separate," with the Plessy v. Ferguson decision in 1896.

There were still hotels, restaurants, and public seating that were "whites only." While blacks (males only) had been granted suffrage in 1870, many of them were still denied to right to vote by other state approved methods.

A 54-mile march to the state capital in Montgomery, Alabama, was planned on Sunday, March 7, 1965. Forcibly stopped at the Edmund Pettus Bridge by state and local police, the unarmed protesters were attacked by dogs, sprayed with tear gas, and beaten with clubs.

ABC television had been sent to film what they thought would be a peaceful and uneventful march. However, the cameras went live and interrupted regular programs around the country when the attack began.

Tags

Alabama, Bloody Sunday Selma

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author avatar Annie69
History column appears weekly in local newspaper. Also news, human interest, and pictures. My fiction and poems have appeared in literary anthologies and I've written 3 novels

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author avatar GV Rama Rao
29th Dec 2014 (#)

History was created.

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