Civil Rights: Tracing Selma to Montgomery

January 2023

After winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 and in 1965, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. began focusing his attention on Black voter registration in Selma, Alabama. In March of that year, the protesters began their 54-mile march from Selma to Alabama’s state capitol in Montgomery. Led by Civil Rights Activist, John Lewis, the protesters were met with violence on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, and the event is now known as Bloody Sunday.  The Selma to Montgomery march is forever a piece of history that will be considered one of the key turning points in the Civil Rights Movement. It would lead to the passage of the Voting Rights Act. 

Selma To Montgomery National Historic Trail


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. The march route is a component of the National Trail System and is administered by the National Park Service. The route is also designated as a National Scenic Byway/All-American Road. The 54-mile trail follows the historic march beginning at the Brown Chapel AME Church in Selma and crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge. As they crossed the bridge, the nonviolent marchers were stopped and beaten by law enforcement officers in what came to be known as “Bloody Sunday'' on March 7, 1965.

Selma to Montgomery Trail Interpretive Center

White Hall 

Lowndes County Interpretive Center officially opened its doors to the public on Aug. 25, 2006. The interpretive center is the first of three proposed along the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail. This National Park Service site is dedicated to those who peacefully marched 54 miles from Selma to the state capitol of Montgomery in order to gain the right to vote.

Tabernacle Baptist Church


The Tabernacle Baptist Church is where Civil Rights activists from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference held the first mass meeting for voting rights in the basement of the church.

Civil Rights Memorial Center


The Civil Rights Memorial Center honors the triumphs and tragedies that took place during the modern American Civil Rights Movement. State-of-the-art exhibits and an original short film encourage reflection on the power of activism.

The Legacy Museum


The museum is managed by the Equal Justice Initiative, the Montgomery-based nonprofit organization that challenges racial injustice and mass incarceration of Blacks. They sponsor two memorials that spotlight the history of lynchings during the post-Civil War Reconstruction and Jim Crow eras. 

The Dexter Parsonage Museum


This museum provides public access to the residence formerly occupied by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his family. An interpretive center chronicles the history that led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott to the Civil Rights Movement. 

Freedom Rides Museum/Historic Montgomery Greyhound Bus Station


On May 20, 1961, an integrated group of 21 young college students from Nashville arrived at the historic Montgomery Greyhound Bus Station. These Freedom Riders met mob violence with non-violence and courage. Their actions helped end racial segregation in all interstate transportation. The Freedom Rides continue to evoke the power of nonviolent protest to change unjust laws. An award-winning exhibit on the building's exterior traces the Freedom Riders’ history. 

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