Selma Things to Do

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Best Rated Things to Do in Selma

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    Lowndes County Interpretive Center

    by calcaf38 Updated Aug 7, 2010

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    How can you build a museum with this mouthful of a name and expect anyone to come visit? This is a downright shame because the LCIC is the best Civil Rights museum of the ones I visited. Like the others, it starts with a movie to set the origins of the event, followed by an exhibit.

    This is the only place where you are made aware that the segregationists didn't vanish in a puff of smoke in 1965. The movie contains remarks from a well dressed, articulate blonde lady of today, who spouts out racist nonsense that chills your blood.

    Another haunting vision is a photo of poor black sharecroppers watching the marchers go by their shack. The marchers have that 60s look we know well from documentaries about the movement, but the sharecroppers could have been photographed in 1880 Congo.

    You cannot skip this museum if you are interested in this chapter in history.

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    Edmund Pettus Bridge

    by calcaf38 Updated Aug 7, 2010

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    This unique looking bridge was the location for the brutally aborted first march on Montgomery, for the symbolic second march, and for the start of the heroic third march - all within March of 1965. Edmund Pettus was a confederate general and U.S. Senator. The bridge was completed in 1940 and it carries U.S. Route 80 over the Alabama River.

    The bridge is easy to access from either end, and you can cross it by foot. You can even step into the traffic to take pictures without risking your life.

    See the travelogue and the videos to discover my obsession with the Pettus Bridge.

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    Temple Mishkan Israel

    by calcaf38 Updated Aug 7, 2010

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    I stumbled upon this synagogue after picking up bottled water at a Rite-Aid. According to the historical marker nearby, three of Selma's mayors in the early Twentieth Century were Jews. I wouldn't have imagined there were three Jews in Selma - ever!

    I found an interesting video on Youtube exploring the complex feelings of elderly Selma Jews as they recollect the turbulent years, especially how they didn't always appreciate the enthusiastic participation of (more modern) Northern Jews in the Civil Rights movement.

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    Historic Water Avenue District

    by calcaf38 Written Aug 7, 2010

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    This is a rundown but characterful neighborhood of old warehouses near the river, definitely worth a stroll. When I was there, it was as empty as if a neutron bomb had gone off the day before. Come to think of it, that was true of so many places in the South!

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    Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church

    by calcaf38 Updated Aug 7, 2010

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    At first glance, nothing distinguishes this Church which stands at the edge of a housing project. Yet it is from here that the movement started which would hasten the end of the worst injustice in the history of our country.

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    Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail

    by calcaf38 Updated Aug 7, 2010

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    The Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail was established by Congress in 1996 to commemorate the events, people, and route of the 1965 Voting Rights March in Alabama.

    This is a lovely country road most of the way, belying its dramatic role in the history of justice. The starting point is the Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church in Selma. Of course, it passes the Pettus Bridge. The areas where the marchers stayed overnight are clearly marked. The Lowndes County Interpretive Center, at the midway point, is a fantastic resource. Easy to miss (but most moving) is the memorial to Viola Liuzzo, the Michigan wife and mother who dropped everything to go help with the march and was slain by the KKK. The terminus is the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery.

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    edmund pettus bridge

    by doug48 Updated Aug 22, 2009

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    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.

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    alabama state capitol

    by doug48 Updated Aug 30, 2009

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    alabama state capitol

    the terminus of the selma-montgomery civil rights trail is the alabama state capitol building. on march 25 th 1965 25,000 marchers walked up dexter ave. to the steps of the capitol. martin luther king finished the protest march with his famous speech "how long, not long". for those interested in 1960's civil rights history the selma-montgomery civil rights trail is well worth taking.

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    old depot museum

    by doug48 Updated May 22, 2012

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    old depot museum

    the old depot museum is a great place to visit for visitors interested in the history of selma. the old depot was a site in the battle of selma in 1865. the old depot museum has a collection of photos and artifacts relating to selma's past and an interesting collection of civil war relics. most visitors to selma come for it's civil rights historic sites but selma has a rich history prior to the 1960's that is worth exploring.

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    hernando desoto monument

    by doug48 Updated Aug 22, 2009

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    hernando desoto monument

    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.

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    battle of holy ground

    by doug48 Updated Aug 25, 2009

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    site of the battle of holy ground

    u.s. general f. l. claiborne defeated creek native americans at the battle of holy ground in 1813. thirty three creeks and one u.s. solder were killed in the battle of holy ground. claiborne destroyed the holy ground creek village but chief red eagle weatherford escaped from the battle on horse back. the battle of holy ground was the last u.s. battle with the creeks in south alabama.

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    interpretive center

    by doug48 Updated Aug 14, 2010

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    lowndes county interpretive center

    most visitors to selma come to tour the selma to montgomery national historic trail. the lowndes county interpretive center is a good first stop to get information and maps of the trail. for those interested in 1960's civil rights history the interpretive center is a must see spot in the selma area.

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    bloody sunday monument

    by doug48 Updated Sep 1, 2009

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    located at the base of the edmund pettus bridge is the "bloody sunday" monument. when governor george wallace was informed of plans for the civil rights march from selma to mongomery he denounced the march as a threat to public safety. wallace authorized the alabama state police and the dallas county sheriff's office to block the marchers from crossing the bridge. on march 7 th 1965 the police beat the marchers with billy clubs, bull whips and sprayed them with tear gas. the police beat back the protesters back over the bridge and the march 7 th march was cancelled.

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    first baptish church

    by doug48 Written Aug 22, 2009

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    first baptist church

    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.

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    brown chapel AME church

    by doug48 Written Aug 22, 2009

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    brown chapel AME church

    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).

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Selma Things to Do

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