On March 7, 1965, John Lewis attempted to lead 600 marchers across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. The group was marching from Selma to the state capital of Montgomery to demand voting rights for Black Americans. Alabama Governor George Wallace had already directed state troopers “to use whatever measures are necessary to prevent a march.”
As the marchers reached the crest of the bridge, they saw a wall of state troopers waiting for them. The troopers were backed up by deputies from the county sheriff’s office some on horseback. The marchers stopped just short of the line of police officers.
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