March 7th "Bloody Sunday"
Blacks began a march to Montgomery in support of voting rights, but were stopped at the Edmund Pettus Bridge by a police blockade in Selma, Ala. State troopers and the Dallas County Sheriff's Department, some mounted on horseback, awaited them. In the presence of the news media, the lawmen attacked the peaceful demonstrators with billy clubs, tear gas and bull whips, driving them back into Selma.
The incident was dubbed "Bloody Sunday" by the national media, with each of the three networks interrupting telecasts to broadcast footage from the horrific incident.
Thousands of religious and lay leaders, including Dr. Martin Luther King, flew to Selma. He called for people across the country to join him. Hundreds responded to his call, shocked by what they had seen on television.
To prevent another outbreak of violence, marchers attempted to gain a court order that would prohibit the police from interfering. Instead of issuing the court order, Federal District Court Judge Frank Minis Johnson issued a restraining order, preventing the march from taking place until he could hold additional hearings later in the week. On March 9, Dr. King led a group again to the Edmund Pettus Bridge where they knelt, prayed and to the consternation of some, returned to Brown Chapel. That night, a Northern minister who was in Selma to march, was killed by white vigilantes.
March 21st - 25th: Selma - Montgomery March
Under protection of a federalized National Guard, voting rights advocates left Selma on March 21, and stood 25,000 strong on March 25 before the state capitol in Montgomery