viola liuzzo was a detroit michigan house wife that was horrified by the images of the aborted march 7 th selma to montgomery civil rights march. she told her husband anthony liuzzo, a teamsters official, that "this was everybody's fight" and that she was driving to selma. the evening after the third march to montgomery liuzzo and leroy moton drove groups of protesters back to selma from montgomery. after two trips to selma liuzzo and moton were returning to montgomery when they were spotted by car with four klansmen. liuzzo and moton were chased 20 miles from selma into lowndes county. the car with the kansmen pulled along side liuzzo's car and shot her twice in the head. moton survived the attack and later ran for help from liuzzo's wreaked car. because there was an FBI informant in the klan car the klansmen were quickly arrested. one klansman died of a heart attack before his trial and two other klansmen were convicted and given short prison sentences. the liuzzo murder contributed to the quick passage of the 1965 voting rights act.
st. paul's is a historic church located in the selma historic district. the original st. paul's episcopal church was built in 1838. union general james h. wilson's troops burned down the church during the battle of selma in 1865. the beautiful gothic revival church you see today was built in 1875. st. paul's has an excellent collection of tiffany stained glass windows. st. paul's episcopal church is listed on the national register of historic places.
though most visitors to selma come to take the civil rights tour. downtown selma has a very interesting historic district that is worth exploring for those interested in history and architecture. pictured is the selma first baptist church located in the selma historic district. the selma first baptist church was established in 1885. the first baptist church is one of several beautiful churches in downtown selma.
the edmund pettus bridge was named after edmund winston pettus who was a confederate civil war general and later an alabama u.s. senator. the edmund pettus bridge became world famous on march 7 1965 as the scene of the "bloody sunday" confrontation between civil rights marchers and police during the 1960's civil rights movement.
the church street united methodist church was established in 1835. the church that you see today was built in 1901. the united methodist church is one of serveral beautiful churches in downtown selma.
after the "bloody sunday" incident on march 7th martin luther king called for a "symbolic" march to the edmund pettus bridge on march 9 th. federal district judge frank m. johnson had issued a injunction against the protest march and king and his protesters marched over the bridge said a short prayer and returned to downtown selma. later that night a group of local whites attacked unitarian minister james reeb who was a participant in the march. reeb was refused admission to selma's hospital and was sent to university hospital in birmingham. reeb died as a result of his beating two days later.
the spanish explorer hernando desoto visited the selma area in 1540. near this marker desoto met with native american chief tuskaloosa. the selma area has a number of native american sites that may be of interest to students of early american history.
the cecil b. jackson public safety building was originally the old selma city hall and jail. today the cecil b. jackson building is used for the city of selma's municipal court. martin luther king was arrested in selma and was an inmate in the old selma jail.
this romanesque revival style church was built in 1908 by a. j. farley. during the selma to montgomery protest march the brown chapel was the headquarters of the southern christian leadership conference (SCLC).
this gothic revival brick church was built in 1894 and was designed by black architect dave benjamin west. the first baptist church became nationally famous for it's involvement in the 1965 selma to montgomery protest march. the first baptist church was used as a planning site and headquarters for the student nonviolent coordinating committee (SNCC). for those interested in taking the selma to montgomery national historic trail the first baptist church is a good place to start the tour.
the selma visitors center is located in the selma public library in downtown selma. a good first stop to get information on the historic sites and attractions of selma.