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Pretty and humid on the banks of the Alabama River, Selma is a quiet little town with a gigantic, profound place in history. On Bloody Sunday, in March 1965, state troopers beat and tear-gassed more than 600 Civil Rights marchers as they were crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Led my Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the crowd was marching to Montgomery (the state capital) to demonstrate in favor of voting rights for African Americans. The marches, and preceding years of rage and violence, marked the emotional peak of the Civil Rights Movement. Soon after marchers reached Montgomery, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965. ...

Pretty and humid on the banks of the Alabama River, Selma is a quiet little town with a gigantic, profound place in history. On Bloody Sunday, in March 1965, state troopers beat and tear-gassed more than 600 Civil Rights marchers as they were crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Led my Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the crowd was marching to Montgomery (the state capital) to demonstrate in favor of voting rights for African Americans. The marches, and preceding years of rage and violence, marked the emotional peak of the Civil Rights Movement. Soon after marchers reached Montgomery, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The route along Hwy. 80 is now memorialized as the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail. Selma has few attractions, but anyone interested in Civil Rights History will find a visit here a worthwhile, historically significant pilgrimage.

Debra Landau
About the Expert

Debra Landau has written eight Lonely Planet guidebooks, including books on the USA, Caribbean, and the South.

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    Selma is a year-round destination.