MLK - Selma to Montgomery March
a historical event
- Sunday, March 21, 1965
On March 21, close to 8,000 people assembled at Brown Chapel to commence the trek to Montgomery. Most of them were black, but also participating were a significant number of whites along with some Asians and Latinos.
Under the terms of Judge Johnson's order, the march was limited to no more than 300 participants for the two days they were on the two-lane portion of Highway-80, so at the end of the first day most of the marchers returned to Selma by bus and car, leaving 300 to camp overnight and take up the journey the next day.
- Monday, March 22, 1965
On March 22 and 23rd, 300 protesters marched through chilling rain across Lowndes county, camping at three sites in muddy fields. At the time of the march, the population of Lowndes County was 81% Black and 19% white, but not a single black was registered to vote. At the same time there were 2,240 whites registered to vote in Lowndes County, a figure that represented 118% of the adult white population (in many southern counties of that era it was common practice to retain white voters on the rolls after they died or moved away).
- Tuesday, March 23, 1965
- Wednesday, March 24, 1965
On the morning of the 24th, the march crossed into Montgomery County and the highway widened again to four lanes. All day as the march approached the city, additional marchers were ferried by bus and car to join the line. By evening, several thousand marchers had reached the final campsite at the City of St. Jude, a Catholic complex on the outskirts of Montgomery.
- Thursday, March 25, 1965
On Thursday, March 25, 25,000 people marched from St. Jude to the steps of the State Capitol Building where King delivered the speech How Long, Not Long. The end we seek, King told the crowd, is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience. ... I know you are asking today, How long will it take? I come to say to you this afternoon however difficult the moment, however frustrating the hour, it will not be long.
- total distance: 47 miles (76 km)