Author Topic: Selma Alabama Voting Rights March Trail  (Read 884 times)

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Offline airboy

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Selma Alabama Voting Rights March Trail
« on: March 29, 2020, 07:29:35 PM »
My wife was bored out of her mind with the coronavirus killing travel and social gatherings.  So we visited the last major Civil Rights struggle place in Alabama that we had not visited because you could see it without going to a museum.

The Edmund Pettis Bridge over the Alabama River in Selma was where fire hoses and dogs were released on civil rights marchers attempting to secure the right to vote.  These happened when I was 3 years old - so I have no living memory of it.

We drove the Montgomery and took US Highway 80 to Selma since this was the march route.  Highway 80 is a divided US highway - as good of a US highway you get short of an interstate.  There are markers and various (closed) museums along the route.

You can read more about it at:
https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/selma-montgomery-march

Offline airboy

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Re: Selma Alabama Voting Rights March Trail
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2020, 07:30:11 PM »
The bridge is pretty much exactly as it was back in 1965.


Offline airboy

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Re: Selma Alabama Voting Rights March Trail
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2020, 07:32:00 PM »
There is a US Park Service information building at the foot of the bridge.  It is normally closed on Sundays and has been closed due to the Corona Virus for the foreseeable future. 

Offline airboy

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Re: Selma Alabama Voting Rights March Trail
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2020, 07:33:08 PM »
The Azaleas are past their peek bloom in Central and South Alabama.  But there was a nice planting that stays mostly in the shade that was very pretty at the foot of the bridge.

Offline airboy

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Re: Selma Alabama Voting Rights March Trail
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2020, 07:36:58 PM »
Selma is now a economic wasteland.  It was originally an old railroad town, shopping area for several counties, and a spot of local manufacturing.  Today almost all of downtown Selma is boarded up buildings for sale. 

Selma's downtown is similar to many small old railroad station towns throughout the South and Midwest.  I don't know enough about rural Northeast or rural West of the Mississippi to know if this is also common out there.  We have done a lot of driving in the West and extreme upper Midwest - but it was almost all on Interstate Highways which bypass almost all small towns.

Offline airboy

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Re: Selma Alabama Voting Rights March Trail
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2020, 07:38:44 PM »
Once a year during the anniversary of the voting rights march swarms of national, state and local politicians swoop in for a brief march and photo opportunity.  Then they all leave town as quickly as possible.

This year many of the Dem presidential candidates still in the race before Super Tuesday made a brief appearance - then fled because they (correctly) thought Biden had the votes to win Alabama.

Offline airboy

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Re: Selma Alabama Voting Rights March Trail
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2020, 07:43:12 PM »
We have also been to Birmingham to the civil rights museum across the street from where Klansmen bombed the church murdering 4 little girls.  That museum is one of the most chilling places I've ever visited since it documented the many lynchings (race murders) which occurred in Alabama. 

We have also seen the State Capital grounds in Montgomery which is an interesting set of stuff.  You have the marker where Jefferson Davis took the oath of office for the Presidency of the Confederacy looking across to the First White House of the Confederacy.  At the foot of the hill (called Goat Hill) is the small Baptist Church where Martin Luther King preached.

Since we have yet another month of quarantine - I may go to Montgomery and snap more photos of the historic sites there from the outside.

Offline SirAndrewD

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Re: Selma Alabama Voting Rights March Trail
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2020, 08:33:29 PM »
I've been over that bridge many, many a time. 

As for coming to the Capitol, well, I'm absolutely a few minutes away, but we're staying hunkered in right now.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2020, 08:35:38 PM by SirAndrewD »