A week later the long sought goal appeared on the horizon. On march 15 President Lyndon Johnson ask congress to pass a voter rights bill; The next day Judge Johnson lifted the injunction against the march Great Jubilation was felt among the marchers and local fierce resistance remained strong. The same day marchers in Montgomery were brutally beaten.
Governor Wallace refused President Johnson's request for state protection for the marchers, so Johnson Nationalized almost 2000 Alabama national guardsmen and 2000 Soldiers and dozens of FBI and Federal Marshals.
On March 21 about 4000 marchers set out from Selma on U.S. 80 for Montgomery.The Marchers spent five days and four nights on the road, camping over night on farms owned by people friendly to the movement. The First night's camp was about half way between Selma and the Dallas/Lowndes county line at the David Hall Farm. At the Lowndes county line U.S. 80 became a a two lane road. The court order allowing the march stipulated that only 300 Marchers could walk this part of the road, both to keep one lane of traffic open and because the narrow rural road through the County would be the most dangerous part of the march. Three hundred would be much easier to guard than 4,000.
The National Historic Site LOWNDES INTERPRETIVE CENTER and location of campsite number two, the Rosie Steele Farm, March 22,1965. This location later became the site of TENT CITY,when the White landowners in Lowndes County, retaliating against tenant farmers who registered to vote, or engaged in voting rights activities. threw them off their land.
The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee(SNCC) and Lowndes County leaders worked to help families stay together and remain in the county. They bought tents, cots, heaters, food and water and helped several families build a temporary "Tent City".despite harassment,including shots regularly being fired into tent city, residents persevered for almost two years as organizers helped them find new jobs and look for permanent homes.
The March continues Tomorrow
I plan to have a great day, I hope you will Join me