"In the name of African-American voting rights, 3,200 civil rights demonstrators, led by Martin Luther King Jr., begin a historic march from Selma, Alabama, to the state capitol at Montgomery. Federalized Alabama National Guardsmen and FBI agents were on hand to provide safe passage for the march, which twice had been turned back by Alabama state police at Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge.
On March 21, U.S. Army troops and federalized Alabama National Guardsmen escorted the marchers across Edmund Pettus Bridge and down Highway 80. When the highway narrowed to two lanes, only 300 marchers were permitted, but thousands more rejoined the Alabama Freedom March as it came into Montgomery on March 25. On the steps of the Alabama State Capitol, King addressed live television cameras and a crowd of 25,000, just a few hundred feet from the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, where he got his start as a minister in 1954. That August, President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act, which guaranteed African Americans the right to vote.”