[Press Release]: Selma, Alabama - March 7, 1965; 3 pm


Price: $4,500.00

The three-page summary of the unsuccessful first Selma to Montgomery March containing eyewitness accounts of the marchers being beaten and tear-gassed by local authorities. Two photomechanically reproduced folio sheets (white and yellow), one printed both sides. 3pp. Each sheet with three horizontal folds with tiny nicks at the folds and some scattered light creasing, very good. A detailed account of the first historic Selma to Montgomery March held on March 7, 1965 in which a group of roughly 600 Civil Rights marchers, led by Congressman John Lewis, then chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and Hosea Williams of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, were attacked with tear gas and billy clubs by police after crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The brutal beating of the peaceful marchers was broadcast nationwide tipping mainstream opinion in favor of the Civil Right Movement and helping President Johnson get the important Voting Rights Act of 1965 passed that summer.This document is a description of events compiled from various SNCC representatives on the scene in Selma as events unfolded, including Larry Fox, James Austen, and Billy Bailey. It begins at 3 p.m. with the marchers assembling and a description of who is leading the procession and how they are to act if their path is blocked. The marchers were stopped just after crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge by a group of local police, state troopers and deputized white citizens. The scene quickly descended into chaos: "State Trooper are throwing tear gas on them. A few are running back. A few are being blinded by tear gas. Somebody got hurt -- don't know who," with description of brutality against the marchers: "Police are beating people on the street. Oh, man, they're just picking them up and putting them in ambulances. People are getting hurt pretty bad." The accounts continue after marchers retreat over the bridge to the safety of the Brown Chapel Church. Witnesses describe men on horseback whipping people in the streets and how some fellow marchers are "ready to fight" and have "started throwing bricks at the State Troopers." The account ends with police blocking off the street in front of the church to restrict marcher's movement and with news from Good Samaritan Hospital that no one was shot but that "John Lewis is still in the emergency room and will have to stay over night."A frightening and vivid collection of first person accounts of a pivotal moment in the struggle for Civil Rights. OCLC locates no copies of this document and only one reference to it online from 1965 new story published in The Harvard Crimson.

Item #391683

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