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  • Writer's pictureBrian Childress

Selma/Edmund Pettus Bridge National Historical Landmark - Selma, Alabama

Selma is a city in and the county seat of Dallas County, in the Black Belt region of south central Alabama and extending to the west. The city is located on the banks of the Alabama River.

The Edmund Pettus Bridge carries U.S. Route 80 Business across the Alabama River in Selma, Alabama. Built in 1940, it is named after Edmund Winston Pettus, a former Confederate-brigadier general, U.S. senator, and state-level leader ("Grand Dragon") of the Alabama Ku Klux Klan. The bridge is a steel through arch bridge with a central span of 250 feet.

The Edmund Pettus Bridge was the site of the conflict of Bloody Sunday on March 7, 1965, when police attacked Civil Rights Movement demonstrators with horses, billy clubs, and tear gas as they were attempting to march to the state capital, Montgomery. The marchers crossed the bridge again on March 21 and walked to the Capitol building.

The bridge was declared a National Historic Landmark on February 27, 2013.

Coversations/Things we learned:

We stopped at this national landmark on our way to Colorado to hike the Rocky Mountains. For anyone who loves history to include the evolution of civil rights, we encourage you to watch a documentary on Bloody Sunday before visiting this site. Although Selma appeared a lovely town, it was an eerie visit at the landmark. We walked the bridge and tried to envision ourselves as peaceful protestors in the March 1965 incident. This is a good place to visit for anyone who values history.

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