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Bloody Sunday - Selma, Alabama
Bloody Sunday - Selma, Alabama
Published: 2014/01/24
Channel: eh52170
The Racist Backstory Behind Selma
The Racist Backstory Behind Selma's Edmund Pettus Bridge
Published: 2015/03/07
Channel: Newsy
Selma 1965 - Edmund Pettus Bridge
Selma 1965 - Edmund Pettus Bridge
Published: 2007/11/15
Channel: gretasdad
Driving over Edmund Pettus Bridge, Selma, Alabama
Driving over Edmund Pettus Bridge, Selma, Alabama
Published: 2011/04/20
Channel: deaeregydd
Selma / "Bloody Sunday" / March 7, 1965
Selma / "Bloody Sunday" / March 7, 1965
Published: 2016/03/13
Channel: dave hogerty
Watch Obama walk across Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma
Watch Obama walk across Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma
Published: 2015/03/07
Channel: USA TODAY
President Obama
President Obama's Remarks on the 50th Anniversary of the Selma
Published: 2015/03/09
Channel: Matthew77Press
The Obamas March In Selma
The Obamas March In Selma
Published: 2015/03/09
Channel: The Daily Conversation
Rare Video Footage of Historic Alabama 1965 Civil Rights Marches, MLK
Rare Video Footage of Historic Alabama 1965 Civil Rights Marches, MLK's Famous Montgomery Speech
Published: 2013/02/25
Channel: Democracy Now!
SelmaAlabamaBloodySunday1965
SelmaAlabamaBloodySunday1965
Published: 2010/09/22
Channel: ClassicIMG
"Selma" scene filmed on bridge named for KKK leader
"Selma" scene filmed on bridge named for KKK leader
Published: 2015/02/05
Channel: 60 Minutes
Edmund Pettus Bridge Crossing Reenactment
Edmund Pettus Bridge Crossing Reenactment
Published: 2017/03/06
Channel: AL.com
Edmund Pettus Bridge
Edmund Pettus Bridge
Published: 2010/11/27
Channel: kryptonite880
Raw: Obama, Bush Mark 1965 "Bloody Sunday" March
Raw: Obama, Bush Mark 1965 "Bloody Sunday" March
Published: 2015/03/08
Channel: Associated Press
The bridge at Selma
The bridge at Selma
Published: 2015/04/22
Channel: Gilbert Tucker
Selma Alabama March Barack Obama Speech
Selma Alabama March Barack Obama Speech
Published: 2015/03/08
Channel: Best Videos Ever
Driving across Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama
Driving across Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama
Published: 2008/07/16
Channel: d1bottch
Selma 50 years later: Remembering Bloody Sunday
Selma 50 years later: Remembering Bloody Sunday
Published: 2015/03/06
Channel: Los Angeles Times
Selma film shooting on the Edmund Pettus Bridge
Selma film shooting on the Edmund Pettus Bridge
Published: 2014/08/26
Channel: AvaD Fan
President Obama Selma Speech 2015 on 50th
President Obama Selma Speech 2015 on 50th 'Bloody Sunday' at Edmond Pettus Bridge, Alabama | FULL
Published: 2015/03/08
Channel: gorapapo TV
John Legend & Common "Glory" LIVE at Edmund Pettus Bridge
John Legend & Common "Glory" LIVE at Edmund Pettus Bridge
Published: 2015/01/19
Channel: Anthony Antoine
Visiting the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama
Visiting the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama
Published: 2015/07/12
Channel: NVA Fam
Selma
Selma's 52th " Bloody Sunday" Edmund Pettus bridge crossing. (MWPHGLAL)
Published: 2017/03/21
Channel: Vizsion co
Common and John Legend Perform on The Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma
Common and John Legend Perform on The Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma
Published: 2015/01/19
Channel: AL.com
Obama remembers “Bloody Sunday” in Selma
Obama remembers “Bloody Sunday” in Selma
Published: 2015/03/08
Channel: CBS Evening News
"My Girl" in Selma, Alabama on the Edmund Pettus Bridge
"My Girl" in Selma, Alabama on the Edmund Pettus Bridge
Published: 2013/08/15
Channel: Tom Meros
History Documentary Final Cut: Edmund Pettus Bridge
History Documentary Final Cut: Edmund Pettus Bridge
Published: 2016/04/12
Channel: Nicole Vohs
American Freedom Stories: Bloody Sunday
American Freedom Stories: Bloody Sunday
Published: 2014/01/14
Channel: Biography
John Lewis Remembers Police Attack on Bloody Sunday in Selma 50 Years Ago
John Lewis Remembers Police Attack on Bloody Sunday in Selma 50 Years Ago
Published: 2015/03/06
Channel: freespeechtv
Walking the Edmund Pettus Bridge
Walking the Edmund Pettus Bridge
Published: 2011/08/04
Channel: Paul Kersey
Alabama PHA Edmund Pettus Bridge Crossing
Alabama PHA Edmund Pettus Bridge Crossing
Published: 2014/03/10
Channel: Ken Collins
Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, AL
Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, AL
Published: 2015/04/27
Channel: chris rhodes
From Selma To Montgomery: 50 Years After Bloody Sunday
From Selma To Montgomery: 50 Years After Bloody Sunday
Published: 2015/03/07
Channel: AJ+
Julian Bond: Crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge
Julian Bond: Crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge
Published: 2014/08/11
Channel: Mary Carlson Productions
Edmund Pettus Bridge
Edmund Pettus Bridge
Published: 2010/03/14
Channel: Lemara Lindsay-Prince
Martin Luther King Jr marches with people demonstrating for voting rights and oth...HD Stock Footage
Martin Luther King Jr marches with people demonstrating for voting rights and oth...HD Stock Footage
Published: 2014/06/30
Channel: CriticalPast
Rep. John Lewis returns to the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama - LoneWolf
Rep. John Lewis returns to the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama - LoneWolf
Published: 2017/01/14
Channel: LoneWolf & The Three Muskadoggies(◑_◑)
SELMA (John Legend and Common) Pettus Bridge, Sunday January 18, 2015 Selma
SELMA (John Legend and Common) Pettus Bridge, Sunday January 18, 2015 Selma
Published: 2015/01/24
Channel: DK Harris Public Relations
Thousands unite to cross Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma
Thousands unite to cross Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma
Published: 2015/03/09
Channel: CGTN America
Crossing The Edmund Pettus Bridge Selma, AL
Crossing The Edmund Pettus Bridge Selma, AL
Published: 2011/03/15
Channel: Catawba Valley Community College
John Legend Glory on Edmund Pettus Bridge
John Legend Glory on Edmund Pettus Bridge
Published: 2015/01/20
Channel: Kimesha Alvarado
Crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge
Crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge
Published: 2010/03/08
Channel: thornhill28
Edmund Pettus Bridge-St James Hotel in Selma, AL.mp4
Edmund Pettus Bridge-St James Hotel in Selma, AL.mp4
Published: 2009/12/18
Channel: Alabamatourism
Martin arrives at the famous Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma
Martin arrives at the famous Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma
Published: 2015/04/02
Channel: Two Hearts Beat As One
Cast and Crew of Selma March on Edmund Pettus Bridge MLK, J
Cast and Crew of Selma March on Edmund Pettus Bridge MLK, J
Published: 2015/01/19
Channel: Dawn Y. McDaniel
"Still Work to Be Done": Rep. John Lewis Returns to Selma 50 Years After He Was Beaten Unconscious
"Still Work to Be Done": Rep. John Lewis Returns to Selma 50 Years After He Was Beaten Unconscious
Published: 2015/03/09
Channel: Democracy Now!
Crossing the Edmund Pettus bridge
Crossing the Edmund Pettus bridge
Published: 2012/05/12
Channel: Tom Monaco
Edmund Pettus Bridge Drive (slloydwhite)
Edmund Pettus Bridge Drive (slloydwhite)
Published: 2015/03/23
Channel: WhiteStephen
Walking Across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, AL July, 2013
Walking Across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, AL July, 2013
Published: 2015/03/07
Channel: Sandteia Moss
The New Edmund Pettus Bridge: Voting Rights Under Attack
The New Edmund Pettus Bridge: Voting Rights Under Attack
Published: 2013/03/16
Channel: NC Forward Together Moral Movement Channel
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

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Edmund Pettus Bridge
Edmund Pettus Bridge 03.jpg
The central span of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in April 2010
Coordinates

32°24′20″N 87°01′07″W / 32.40556°N 87.01861°W / 32.40556; -87.01861Coordinates: 32°24′20″N 87°01′07″W / 32.40556°N 87.01861°W / 32.40556; -87.01861

Edmund Pettus Bridge
Location Selma, Alabama, U.S.
Built 1939
Built by T. A. Loving Company
NRHP Reference # 13000281
Added to NRHP February 27, 2013[1]
Carries
US 80 Bus.
Crosses Alabama River
Characteristics
Design Through arch bridge
Total length 1,248.1 feet (380.4 m)
Width 42.3 feet (12.9 m)
Longest span 250 feet (76 m)
No. of spans 8
Piers in water 4
Clearance above 14.8 feet (4.5 m)
History
Construction start 1939
Construction end 1940
Opened May 25, 1940
Statistics
Daily traffic 17,720

The Edmund Pettus Bridge is a bridge that carries U.S. Route 80 Business (US 80 Bus.) 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 from Alabama and Grand Dragon of the Alabama Ku Klux Klan. The bridge is a steel through arch bridge with a central span of 250 feet (76 m). There are nine large concrete arches supporting the bridge and roadway on the east side.

The Edmund Pettus Bridge was the site of the conflict of Bloody Sunday on March 7, 1965, when armed policemen attacked civil rights demonstrators with billy clubs and tear gas[2] as they were attempting to march to the Alabama state capital of Montgomery. The marchers crossed the bridge again on March 21 and successfully walked to the Capitol building.

The bridge was declared a National Historic Landmark on March 11, 2013.[3]

Design[edit]

The bridge carries four lanes of US Route 80 over the Alabama River, from Selma on the west side, to points east. The bridge has a total of eleven spans. It has ten smaller concrete spans, while the main span in the center, over the river, is made of steel. Because Selma is built on a bluff over the river, the west side of the bridge is higher than the east side. The center of the bridge is 100 feet (30 m) over the river. In 2011, the bridge was listed as functionally obsolete, meaning that it doesn't meet current design standards for its current traffic load.[4]

Name[edit]

The bridge is named after Edmund Winston Pettus, who was born in Limestone County, Alabama, to John Pettus and Alice Taylor Winston in 1821. He graduated from a public high school and attended Clinton College. He then went on to Tuscumbia, Alabama, to study law and was admitted into the state's bar association in 1842. In 1844 he was elected to serve in the seventh Judicial Circuit of Alabama as a solicitor. From 1847-1849 he served as a lieutenant with the Alabama Volunteers during the Mexican–American War. From 1854 he served as a judge in the seventh Judicial Circuit of Alabama, until resigning in 1858. After resigning as judge he went back to Selma, Alabama where he again practiced law. Following the outbreak of the American Civil War he served with the 20th Regiment Alabama Infantry, eventually attaining the rank of brigadier general in 1863 and being assigned a command in the Army of Tennessee. Following the war he resumed his law practice in Selma. At that time he also led the Alabaman Ku Klux Klan. He was residing in Selma when he was elected as a Democratic United States Senator from Alabama in 1897 and 1903. He died in 1907.[5] Edmund's brother John Pettus, was a Mississippi politician.

Because of Pettus's role in supporting slavery and racism, there is a movement to rename the bridge. With the fiftieth anniversary of Bloody Sunday in 2015, a group of college students and others organized a campaign to rename the bridge. Changing the name would require approval from the State of Alabama. Proponents of changing the name have not offered a specific name as an alternative. An earlier attempt to change the name in 2010 failed. Some Selma residents are opposed, believing that changing the name will do nothing to improve race relations in the country.[6][7]

History[edit]

Construction[edit]

An earlier bridge was built at the same location in 1885 to carry mule loads of cotton. It was a two-lane wooden swing bridge that had to be opened by hand.[6] The Edmund Pettus Bridge was designed by Selma native Henson Stephenson and opened to traffic in 1940.[4]

Alabama policemen prepare to assault peaceful demonstrators at the Edmund Pettus Bridge during Bloody Sunday in 1965.

Civil rights flashpoint[edit]

In 1965 voting rights for African Americans were a contentious issue. In Selma, Alabama, voting rolls were 99% White and 1% African American, while the 1960 Census found that the population of Alabama was 30% nonwhite .[8][9] In February 1965, state troopers and locals in Marion, Alabama, started a fight with some 400 African American demonstrators. Jimmie Lee Jackson was shot in the stomach, and he died eight days later. As word spread, the case became a catalyst for civil rights activists, including Martin Luther King, Jr.. SCLCs Director of Direct Action James Bevel strategized a plan for a peaceful march on the state's capitol, which required crossing the bridge.[10] There were many acts just like this one that involved killings, and many more that involved economic and health problems.[11]

On March 7, 1965, armed policemen attacked peaceful civil rights demonstrators attempting to march to the state capital of Montgomery in an incident that became known as Bloody Sunday. Because of the design of the bridge, the protestors were unable to see the police officers on the east side of the bridge until after they had reached the top of the bridge in the center. The protestors first saw the police while at the center of the bridge, 100 feet above the Alabama River. Upon seeing this, protestor Hosea Williams asked his fellow protestor John Lewis if he knew how to swim. Despite the danger ahead, the protestors continued marching without stopping.[4] They were then attacked and beaten by police on the other side.

Televised images of the brutal attack presented Americans and international audiences with horrifying images of marchers left bloodied and severely injured, and roused support for the Selma Voting Rights Movement. Amelia Boynton, who had helped organize the march as well as marching in it, was beaten unconscious. A photograph of her lying on the road of the Edmund Pettus Bridge appeared on the front page of newspapers and news magazines around the world.[12] In all, 17 marchers were hospitalized and 50 treated for lesser injuries; the day soon became known as "Bloody Sunday" within the African American community.[13]

Legacy[edit]

Then-President Obama, former President George W. Bush, and Civil Rights Movement veterans and other commemoration attendees marching across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in March, 2015

Since 1965, many marches have commemorated the events of Bloody Sunday. On its 30th anniversary, Rep. John Lewis, former president of SNCC and a prominent activist during the Selma to Montgomery marches, said, "It's gratifying to come back and see the changes that have occurred; to see the number of registered voters and the number of Black elected officials in the state of Alabama to be able to walk with other members of Congress that are African Americans."[14]

On the 40th reunion of Bloody Sunday over 10,000 people, including Lewis, again marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.[15] Also, in 1996, the Olympic torch made its way across the bridge with its carrier, Andrew Young, and many public officials, to symbolize how far the South has come. When Young spoke at the Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church, as part of the torch ceremony, he said, "We couldn't have gone to Atlanta with the Olympic Games if we hadn't come through Selma a long time ago."[16]

In March 2015, on the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, U.S. President Barack Obama, the first African-American U.S. president, delivered a speech at the foot of the bridge and then, along with other U.S. political figures such as former U.S. President George W. Bush and Representative John Lewis and Civil Rights Movement activists such as Amelia Boynton Robinson (at Obama's side in a wheelchair), led a march across the bridge. An estimated 40,000 people attended to commemorate the 1965 march, and to reflect on and speak about its impact on history and continuing efforts to address and improve U.S. civil rights.[17]

In popular culture[edit]

Film[edit]

2015 Academy awards[edit]

  • At the 2015 Academy Awards singer/songwriters Common and John Legend performed their academy award winning song "Glory", which is featured in the film Selma, on a stage-size replica of the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

Literature[edit]

  • Marilyn Miller's non-fiction book, The Bridge at Selma (Turning Points in American History) (1989), "describes the far-reaching repercussions of the events of March 7, 1965 when 525 men, women, and children in Alabama attempted to march from Selma to the state capitol in Montgomery in order to register to vote."[18]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Edmund Pettus Bridge". National Register of Historic Places Program. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/civilrights/al4.htm
  3. ^ "AMERICA’S GREAT OUTDOORS: Secretary Salazar, Director Jarvis Designate 13 New National Historic Landmarks". US Department of the Interior. Retrieved 2013-03-11. 
  4. ^ a b c O'Neill, Connor (March 6, 2015). "How the Design of a Selma Bridge Became a Metaphor for the Civil Rights Movement". Slate. Retrieved March 12, 2015. 
  5. ^ "PETTUS, Edmund Winston - Biographical Information". Bioguide.congress.gov. 1907-07-27. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  6. ^ a b Peeples, Melanie (March 5, 2015). "The Racist History Behind The Iconic Selma Bridge". All Things Considered. 
  7. ^ Desmond-Harris, Jenee (March 9, 2015). "Inside the fight to strip a KKK leader's name from Selma's Edmund Pettus Bridge". Vox. Retrieved March 11, 2015. 
  8. ^ Friday, Mar. 19, 1965 (1965-03-19). "Nation: The Central Points". TIME. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  9. ^ "1960 Census" (PDF). Census.gov. Retrieved 2017-03-07. 
  10. ^ Friday, Mar. 19, 1965 (1965-03-19). "Nation: The Central Points". TIME. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  11. ^ "We Shall Overcome - The Cost". Nps.gov. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  12. ^ Sheila Jackson Hardy; P. Stephen Hardy (August 11, 2008). Extraordinary People of the Civil Rights Movement. Paw Prints. p. 264. ISBN 978-1-4395-2357-5. Retrieved March 6, 2011. 
  13. ^ Reed, Roy (March 6, 1966). "'Bloody Sunday' Was Year Ago". The New York Times. New York, New York. p. 76. Retrieved March 9, 2015. 
  14. ^ Jet - Google Books. Books.google.com. 1995-03-27. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  15. ^ Jet - Google Books. Books.google.com. 2005-03-28. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  16. ^ Heath, Thomas (1996-07-01). "After Three Decades, Selma Sees the Light; Torch Crosses Bridge Between Peace, Violence". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  17. ^ Baker, Peter; Fausset, Richard (March 7, 2015). "Obama, at Selma Memorial, Says, ‘We Know the March Is Not Yet Over’". The New York Times (March 7, 2015). Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  18. ^ Miller, Marilyn (June 1, 1989). The Bridge at Selma. Silver Burdett Press. ISBN 9780382068263. 

External links[edit]

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