The dramatic and historic civil rights march from Selma, Alabama to the state capitol at Montgomery ended Thursday (25 March).
The dramatic and historic civil rights march from Selma, Alabama to the state capitol at Montgomery ended Thursday (25 March). The marchers, following a night spent at a Roman Catholic institution on the outskirts of town, swung happily out for the last leg which took them through the city to the steps of the state capitol building.
All morning, the marchers milled around the baseball field of the City of St. Jude, a 40 acre compound operated by white Roman Catholics for Negroes. As they did so, national guard forces were drawn up at one or two places along the route. At the end of the three and one half miles from St. Jude's to the capitol, the confederate flag and the Alabama state flag flew over the capitol building. The city seemed nearly deserted, with little traffic moving.
Governor George Wallace of Alabama was in Montgomery. He announced that he would make a statement later in the day, but it was not clear whether he would receive the marchers.
A white man attempted to stage a lie-down strike across the march route. He was quickly removed by city police.
After cleaning up their camp ground and packing their belongings the marchers streamed out of the St. Jude compound and headed for the capitol. There were an estimated ten thousand of them. Dr. Martin Luther King and his aides led the way. In the procession were numbers of white ministers and nuns, college students both white and coloured from all across the United States, large delegations from trade unions, noted entertainers, and thousands of labourers, farmhands, and others from Alabama.. and from the rest of the nation.