tv Voting Rights March in Selma CSPAN May 19, 2018 5:27pm-6:01pm EDT
went off. it peppered my flak jacket, ripped my entrenching tool in the back, my shovel -- ripped the handle of the back. a piece of shrapnel hit my leg. >> watch our series with the vietnam war veterans on american history tv on c-span3. weekend, american history tv is joining our spectrum cable partners to showcase the history of selma, alabama. to learn more about the city's on our current tour, visit c-span.org/citiestourr. we continue now with the history of selma. ♪
>> many people think the selma to montgomery march sprung up overnight, and was a one-off i dea. there had been a voting rights movement brewing here ends the 1930's. ♪ >> here in selma, alabama, in many places throughout the south, african-americans were denied the right to vote not because it was the constitutional right, but because there were folks throughout the south in positions of power that did not want these folks to have the right to vote. that way they could be considered second-class citizens. poll taxes and literacy tests were two uses to deter african-americans. poll taxes was a 60 price you had to take -- was a fixed
price you had to pay per year. i make $60 a year. we may have rent that is $40 a year. my entire $60 of your income goes to the rent. we have to get clothes and comforts for my kids. there aren't many black people that are going to have money left over to pay a poll tax. let's say on some whim i have an extra dollar and i go to the dallas county courthouse, and i show up saying i'd like to register to vote. i would go up to the county registrar, i would have my poll tax ready. if my. colonel is going to take administer, he will a literacy test, which was
another barrier to african-americans. the test could be, how many counties are there in alabama? he may ask me to name every probate judge in the county of alabama. now i will have to scramble to find the names of all of these probate judges in charge of enforcing the laws of these particular counties throughout the state. type of wikipedia in 1965, so that was just one form. it could be in the form of a howtion, you could ask me many bubbles are in a bar of aap, or you could give me literacy test about 68 questions longed. was this done in a more formal setting -- this could be done in a more formal setting. the might only have to answer 20
of those questions. in american might have to answer all 68. this is one of the most integral pieces of the voting rights movement. you have this place were marches were being led to almost every day during the summer and fall of 1963. there were marches continuously throughout that time, going from january, all the way up to sunday in march of 1965. if you have protesters coming in directing at the dallas county courthouse, most will line up this sidewalk here, down the
side of the building. if you guys see into where the door is, that is where sheriff clark would be standing, you would have voters wind up getting into the folder administration office. you would have freedom songs and protest songs and chants, anyone talking by might here -- migh hear woke up this morning with my mind set on freedom i woke up this morning with my mind it was set on freedom -- hallelu,honolulu hallelujah! ♪
of the main churches that was being used during the voting rights movement. this was also during -- use during a meeting of civil rights movement leaders. dr. king given spurge -- gave city ont speech in the january 9, 1965. [video clip] dr. king: the police commissioner in the city, and everyone in the white power structure in the city, must be responsible. now --et the folks here here know that everyone in the movement had a new voice.
voters have been working to achieve voting rights for african-americans. they were the main people of --ting registration upholding voter registration dropped the county. county.ghout the the 1930's threat and 40's to attack the problems of people in selma not having a right to vote. they worked with folks to people the rights of marching in the streets. foundation of people to come here and protest
in 1965. the interesting thing about baptist, the church has two faces. thats built by tabernacle is in the 1920's. african-americans were prevented -- entering and exiting main streets on br broad streets. the real entrance to the church is on a different avenue. it is called the church with two faces. the people involved in not just work out of tabernacle baptist. they moved their operations over to first baptist church, the black first baptist church in
selma, right down the street from where we are now. this included right before freedom day in october of 1963, wherefore the heights was the main attraction. she gave a lot of encouragement to those at the dallas county courthouse. fora was a logical place the voting rights movement to really have this push, because of the fact there was so many factors that there was a hotbed for this particular issue. there was a population that was mostly african-american. there were only 240 registered black voters throughout the entire county. there was a proper type of agitation needed to make this movement successful. washad a chair here who very belligerent toward african-american protesters, towards those getting a cup of tea at the precise moment, and his name was sheriff jim clark.
he provided the type of resistance such groups needed in order to make selma the safe haven for voting rights. theking brought money from wereand their donors who able to get a lot of people bailed out of jail, and motivation. city,ng came into a small already seen as someone who can lead the masses, speak eloquently and inspire. he brought motivation with him, and was the inference -- inspiration for a lotta folks to get involved with the movement. which put the media, the nail in the coffin for the voting rights movement. they were able to show even though these protesters were nonviolent and only practicing civil recipients, they were still being mistreated because --sheriff clark -=
disobedience, they were still being mistreated because of sheriff clark. bloody sunday. on march 7, 1965, protesters gathered right in the playground , to be a church prepared to go all the way from selma to montgomery areas there was the idea to march appeared to selma all the way to montgomery. it was the direct action they wanted to pay in response to the ckson, a jimmie ja 26-year-old veteran who lived in alabama. alabama state an trooper while trying to protect his mother and grandfather. about eight days later, he died.
the march 1 at you do something that would really honor jimmy lee jackson and they decided taking his body all the way to the alabama state capital showed how important voting rights was to them, it was the right thing to do. instead of taking his body all the way to montgomery, they marched in his spirit. of 1965.on march 7 protesters progressed from the avenue, andabama then walked right out here on broad street to cross independence bridge. as they crested to the top of the bridge, those who led the march saw a sea of alabama state troopers and sheriff's deputies. when they got to the top of the bridge, they felt fear, but even
though they were a little bit scared, they put one foot in front of the other and marched 100 yards past the edge of the bridge before they were stopped by major on cloud, the head of the alabama state troopers for that day. as the marchers approached him, he said to them this is an unlawful assembly and they have two minutes to turn around and back to the churches or homes. they would have a word with the major. the major responded, there is no words to be had. and he gave the order for the troopers to melee. this is now what is known as bloody sunday. the sheriff's deputies rushed marchers right here on this them withating nightsticks, billy clubs, even furniture wrapped in barbed wire. teargas canisters were going up
and they beat these marchers throughout the city and into the george washington aria, where they just were, and there were accounts of these officials throwing young women into ools atal polls at -- p first baptist church. what made the significant is that there were so many media cameras there capturing this moment. news also were national there filming this action. tonight, images from bloody sunday actually appeared in the middle of "trials at nuremberg." folks got to see what was happening here. king heard what was happening, he put out a call to clergy members across the country to come down and march on tuesday, march 9.
to come inhese folks and be the face of this particular march. the next morning, he got word there was an injunction. the injection had gone to fred johnson in montgomery. he notified dr. king there was going to be an injunction against march and he was going to set a court date for march the 11th. how does dr. king keep his word to all of these people, to march and protest for the right to vote for african-americans, but not violate a court injunction? he got on the phone with some of the top people in washington, including the president and fbi representatives. they came up with the solution he would march 2 the spot of bloody sunday, where the attacks began, and turned back around. this march became known as
turnaround tuesday. 2000 folks gathered over at brown chapel church to turn right here on the water avenue. and they cut up the bridge right here. as they crested to the top of the bridge, that same sea of blue greeted them, alabama state troopers, and the sheriff's deputies. sea of bluee this from the people who led the march, they prayed, and then they turned around. the majority of the people on the march did not know that was that was his intentions. only the very top people were privy to this information. folks whoout 2000 assumed they were marching all the way to montgomery. but they turned around. somewhere happy about the turning around because they didn't want another bloody sunday. but some were extremely
disgruntled. led to them to continue their fight for voting rights with montgomery student groups. the march, there was the death of another young man named reed, a youth minister from boston who came down to be a part of the march. he was brutally beaten by white citizens here in selma. he died about two days later from his injuries. he is known as the second murder of the voting rights movement. -- martyr of the voting rights movement. his death inspired a lot of thought from white citizens across the country. that is also why the stay is known as turnaround tuesday, because white attitudes toward the black right to vote started to change. williams, john lewis,
others involved with the movement spoke to the judge gave the injunction, as well as governor clark -- governor wallace and jim clark, who were not fond of the march and said it disrupted safety. this march would be the judge said there had been enough justice done to these folks -- injustice done to these folks in the city of selma that a march of the scale was appropriate. folks only had four days to get everything together in order to make the entire trek from selma to montgomery. beginning on march 21, more than 3200 people gathered at a church to begin the march from selma to montgomery. he took the bloody sunday route, turned right on alabama avenue, up rod street, and across the
independence bridge. they continue to march for five days and four nights. they made their way to a continue to march all the way until they got to the alabama state capital. this was on march 25, 1965. [video clip] [applause] alabama. from selma, they told us we wouldn't get here. wouldn't getd we here, over their dead bodies. all the world today knows we are in thed we are standing state of alabama, saying we aren't going to let nobody turn us around. act -- thevoting
voting rights act of 1965 was signed ensuring that african-americans would get the right to vote. this was at great cost for african-americans, having the right to vote insured by the federal government. insureds that black americans had the right to vote -- ensured that black americans have the right to vote. [video clip] >> god bless you! ♪ joyce: summit is in a place where we need to rebuild. selma has become, i won't say complacent, but when the movement was over, there was no
one left to help the city continue in the same thing -- continue in the same vein. there were no programs to teach people about life in an integrated society. somebody to keep that going, selma would be in a better place. ve failed to teach our children what the movement was all about and the importance of voting. c-span continues its special feature on soma with a tour of old live oak's cemetery -- selma with a tour of old live oaks cemetary. [birds chirping]
>> the cemetery was founded in 1829, originally it was outside the city limits. almost like a park. people would stroll in the evenings and have a picnic lunch on sundays. we will be introducing you to some of the famous residents, including the vice president of the united states, several senators, the first african-american from the state of alabama elected to the house, and the first female elected to the alabama legislature. at the looking highest-ranking official the state of alabama has ever produced. he was vice president. -- a plantation was established here at chestnut hill. when alabama became a state, one of the founders of the city of it based on his
poems.e scottish he then helped to write the state constitution for the state of alabama. grey: from there, he was chosen as one of the two center -- as senators to represent the state, in washington dc. office before the secession of the civil war began. he was a firm unionist. rooted in the sense that we must stay together as a union. he was a close friend of james buchanan. they were co-senators. there was speculation that they had more than just a friendship relationship.
never any kind of letter sounds or anything like that. he was chosen as the running mate to franklin pierce. he had developed tuberculosis and was ill. while he was in cuba, the senate passed a special bill that allowed him to go as vice president of the united states. he is the only executive branch official that has been sworn in as foreign territory -- on foreign territory. he realized in cuba that he was not going to recuperate and continue to decline. he came back to selma and died the following day. wasinally, william rich buried across the alabama river, but was buried here in accordance with the boundaries
city. this beside the door was erected in the honor of him being vice president. john tyler morgan was born in 1824 in the state of tennessee. in 1855, he married a local selma girl. 1861, he attended the alabama secession convention. he was a strong state rights supporter in felt the federal government was overstepping its bounds in trying to regulate slavery. , along withsecede the majority from the union. 1876, he was a senator from
alabama, a reconstructionist, and he was very much in favor of the united states acquiring hawaii, cuba, and the philippines. father of the the panama can now because he thought the united states should be involved in a canal system in central america. he was instrumental in working with theodore roosevelt in making sure the united states was instrumental in finishing the panama canal. during reconstruction, john tyler morgan was very much focused on trying to rebuild the state of alabama. he was not in support of rights for african-americans. he was very much in favor of maintaining jim crow laws to keep society stable. he served six terms in the united states senate and died in
selma in 1907. we are standing at the grave of benjamin turner. he was joined in 1825 in north carolina. he was brought here with his white owner. she realized his intellectual abilities in educated him along with her white children. hotelame the manager of a and operated a livery business, and had several other small businesses. war, whenever he went -- whenight a battle, ever the original owner of the hotel that off to fight a battle, benjamin was part in charge. he served in short-term on the off thencil, but got
council because he refused to take paid. he did not believe he should peak set the money for his service. and that he was elected to the house of representatives. while in washington, his main causes were amnesty for confederates, and to secure aid to help the devastated south. he was very much supported by the people in selma because he rose above race and political parties to work for the good of the country. with a flag marked for the confederacy because of his efforts in trying to secure aid for the devastated south. we are now at the grave of hatt ie wilkins. 1875as born in 1870 528 --
to a prominent family. she was put into a school for boys after her father recognized her intellectual abilities. she was married in 1898 and in 1910, she began to be involved suffrage movement in the state of alabama. she joined the alabama equal suffrage association. 1920, women were allowed the right to vote. in 1922, she was elected to the alabama legislature. she left the alabama ladies of selma because they thought it was scandalous to be involved in politics, they thought it was only for men. she supported bills for education, and when she came back to the city, and she
remained involved in women's voters issues. she is buried her between her son and husband. buried standing up, reportedly, because her husband said she always stood up for her principles. are at the grave of the half sister of mary todd lincoln. came to the swearing-in of justice davis at the mont -- at montgomery. a loyalist and very much believed in the cause of the confederacy. she had visited several times in washington dc, to her sister, but president, her pass and told her she could no longer come back, because she was selling owing goodsing -- s
into her petticoat to bring to the confdederacy across state lines. the statue here, her husband sent back to have redone because he said her hair was not as beautiful as her hair in person. gery: we are now in confederate circles after the war. dawson,and, nathaniel is the one who planted the trees we see here. she wanted to have a place to those fallen in the war. the city gave to the udc to build this confederate circle.
there are grades of unknown confederate soldiers moved -- graves of unknown confederate soldiers moved here. there are 155 confederate soldiers whose remians were -- remains removed. and were buried here to mark those died in the war. we see how the state basically prospered, how it was involved in the civil war, and many prominent people who made selma a better place after that time. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] staffcer: our cities tour recently traveled to selma, alabama. learn more about the city and other stops on her tour at c-span.org/citiestour. if you're watching american
history television, all week and every weekend on c-span3. taylorer: next, quintard onlores slavery, focusing kansas and missouri before and after the civil war. the kansas city public library hosted the 70 minute talk. quintard: let me get organized. i am an old-fashioned guy who needs lecture notes. i'm going to try to squeeze in. hopefully they will fit. thank you for that introduction. that was amazing. i was thinking, i don't know who she's talking about. i can be here all night thinking people, but the most important one is kelly.