March 9, 2015

Sen. Whitehouse Attending 50th Anniversary March in Selma, Alabama

Washington, DC – This weekend U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) will attend the 50th anniversary remembrance of the “Bloody Sunday” march of 1965 in Selma, Alabama.  He will join dozens of other Members of Congress and distinguished guests, including President Barack Obama and Congressman John Lewis – a leader in the civil rights movement who participated in the first march fifty years ago and still bears scars from being attacked by police as he crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

“The images of that spring day in 1965—of American law officers trampling and gassing American men, women, and children, even as many of them knelt in prayer—forced a shocked nation to acknowledge the stakes of the civil rights movement,” Whitehouse said.  “Fifty years later, I’m honored to stand with Congressman Lewis, President Obama, and leaders from around the country to celebrate how far we have come, and to re-dedicate ourselves to the work that remains.”

The Bloody Sunday marchers on March 7, 1965 planned to march from Selma to Montgomery in support of voting rights legislation.  They were stopped on the Edmund Pettus Bridge by police officers and attacked.  More marches followed, including one on March 9 led by Martin Luther King, Jr.  Days later, on March 15, President Lyndon Johnson gave an address to Congress in support of voting rights legislation.  Congress passed the Voting Rights Act in the months that followed, and Johnson signed it into law on August 6, 1965.

Whitehouse will attend a program at the Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church in Selma tomorrow morning, followed by a commemoration ceremony on the Edmund Pettus Bridge. 


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Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921