Black History, Women’s History … Science and Women do the work
First March from Selma
When You Pray, Move Your Feet.
— African Proverb.
Charles White(?), photographer, Selma, Alabama, March 7, 1965.
photo courtesy of Representative John Lewis
John Lewis (on right in trench coat) and Hosea Williams (on the left) lead marchers across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
On Sunday March 7, 1965, about six hundred people began a fifty-four mile march from Selma, Alabama to the state capitol in Montgomery. They were demonstrating for African American voting rights and to commemorate the death of Jimmie Lee Jackson, shot three weeks earlier by an state trooper while trying to protect his mother at a civil rights demonstration. On the outskirts of Selma, after they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge, the marchers, in plain sight of photographers and journalists, were brutally assaulted by heavily armed state troopers and deputies.
One hundred years after the Civil War, in many parts of the nation, the 15th Amendment had been nullified by discriminatory laws, ordinances, intimidation, violence, and fear which kept a majority of African Americans from the polls. The situation was particularly egregious in the city of Selma, in Dallas County, Alabama, where African Americans made up more than half the population yet comprised only about 2 percent of the registered voters. As far back as 1896, when the U.S. House of Representatives adjudicated the contested results of a congressional election held in Dallas County, it was stated on the floor of Congress:
…I need only appeal to the memory of members who have served in this House for years and who have witnessed the contests that time and time again have come up from the black belt of Alabama—since 1880 there has not been an honest election in the county of Dallas…
Hon. W. H. Moody, of Massachusetts
Contested Election Case, Aldrich vs. Robbins, Fourth District, Alabama: Speeches of Hon. W.H. Moody, of Massachusetts [et al.] in the House of Representatives, 3 (2239),
March 12 and 13, 1896.
From Slavery to Freedom, 1824-1909
However, by March 1965, the Dallas County Voters League, the Southern Christian Leadership Council (SCLC), and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) were all working for voting rights in Alabama. John Lewis headed SNCC’s voter registration effort and, on March 7, he and fellow activist Hosea Williams led the group of silent marchers from the Brown Chapel AME Church to the foot of the Pettus bridge and into the event soon known as “Bloody Sunday.”
Alabama Police Attack Selma-to-Montgomery Marchers,
Selma, Alabama, March 7, 1965. — http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/travel/civilrights/al4.htm
“We Shall Overcome”: Historic Places of the Civil Rights Movement — http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/travel/civilrights/index.htm
When ABC television interrupted a Nazi war crimes documentary, Judgement in Nuremberg, to show footage of violence in Selma a powerful metaphor was presented to the nation. Within forty-eight hours, demonstrations in support of the marchers were held in eighty cities and thousands of religious and lay leaders, including Dr. Martin Luther King, flew to Selma. On March 9, Dr. King led a group again to the Pettus Bridge where they knelt, prayed, and, to the consternation of some, returned to Brown Chapel. That night a Northern minister, who was in Selma to march, was killed by white vigilantes.
Outraged citizens continued to inundate the White House and the Congress with letters and phone calls. On March 9, for example, Jackie Robinson, the baseball hero, sent a telegram to the President:
“IMPORTANT YOU TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION IN ALABAMA ONE MORE DAY OF SAVAGE TREATMENT BY LEGALIZED HATCHET MEN COULD LEAD TO OPEN WARFARE BY AROUSED NEGROES AMERICA CANNOT AFFORD THIS IN 1965”
In Montgomery, Federal Judge Frank Johnson, Jr. temporarily restrained all parties in order to review the case. And, President Lyndon Johnson addressed the American people before a televised Joint Session of Congress, saying, “There is no issue of States rights or national rights. There is only the struggle for human rights…We have already waited a hundred years and more, and the time for waiting is gone…”
Rev. Ralph Abernathy walking with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as They Lead Civil Rights Marchers out of Camp to Resume Their March
United Press International — http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/94505571/
Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, March 21-25, 1965.
Prints & Photographs Division — http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/
Allowing CBS footage of “Bloody Sunday” as evidence in court, Judge Johnson ruled on March 17, that the demonstrators be permitted to march. Under protection of a federalized National Guard, voting rights advocates left Selma on March 21 and stood 25,000 strong on March 25 before the state capitol in Montgomery. As a direct consequence of these events, the U.S. Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965, guaranteeing every American twenty-one and over the right to register to vote. During the next four years the number of U.S. blacks eligible to vote rose from 23 to 61 percent.
John Lewis went on to serve as Director of the Voter Education Project, a program that eventually added nearly four million minorities to the voter rolls. To mark the thirty-fifth anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” on March 7, 2000, Lewis, a U.S. Congressman from Atlanta’s 5th District, and Hosea Williams crossed the Pettus Bridge accompanied by President William Clinton, Coretta Scott King, and others. Asked to contrast this experience with that of 1965 the Congressman responded, “This time when I looked there were women’s faces and there were black faces among the troopers. And this time when we faced them, they saluted.”
•American Treasures is an exhibition of special items in the Library of Congress collections. The exhibition is divided into four sections: Top Treasures, Memory, Imagination, and Reason. The latter includes images taken about 1963 by Danny Lyon, staff photographer for SNCC, a key organizing body during the Civil Rights Movement.
•Search on the term Selma, Alabama in the black and white photos of the Farm Services Administration collection, FSA/OWI Photographs, 1935-1945 to see images of the city taken during the 1930s by the photographer Walker Evans. Search on Alabama to see images taken by the FSA photographers Dorothea Lange, Arthur Rothstein, Marion Post Wolcott, and Carl Mydans.
•The Great Migration made northerners more aware of disenfranchisement in the Deep South and newspapers like The Gazette and The Advocate fostered awareness within the black community. Search on the term vote in African-American Experience in Ohio, 1850-1920 to view about 100 items that address the issue. See, for example, the 1887 article “Negro Voting Power” and the 1888 article “First Colored Voter.” The poet Paul Lawrence Dunbar mentions Alabama disenfranchisement in his article “Paul Dunbar’s Protest.”
•Music drawn from a tradition of Southern spirituals helped sustain the Civil Rights Movement. Search on the term spiritual in the John Lomax and Ruby Terrel Lomax collection Southern Mosaic to hear some of the tunes which comprise that tradition. Listen, for example, to versions of “This Little Light of Mine,” “Long Way to Travel,” and “Great Day” as they were rendered in the South back in 1939.
•Images of 20th Century African American Activists: A Select List presents frequently requested images from the Prints & Photographs Division of the Library. Except where otherwise noted in the “Reproduction Number” line, images are considered to be in the public domain. The selection includes images of Martin Luther King, John Lewis, and Ralph Abernathy.
•Search the Today in History Archive on the term states rights to learn more about an issue which lay at the heart of the American system. Ironically, on March 7, 1850, (exactly 115 years before “Bloody Sunday”) Daniel Webster gave his famous “Seventh of March speech” in favor of the Compromise of 1850, which, while it postponed the Civil War, strengthened states’ rights at the cost of African-American freedom. Search on the term Alabama to learn more about events in the state, such as the arrest of Rosa Parks.
•With the exception of Concord Bridge, where the American Revolution began, no bridge in America marks an event as historically momentous as that marked by the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Nevertheless, search across the Photos and Prints section of American Memory on the term bridge to see a wide array of other bridges. See, for example, Burnside’s Bridge (fought over during the Battle of Antietam), a Covered Bridge in Vermont, and the Locust St. Bridge in Des Moines, Iowa. Also search the Today in History Archive on the term bridge to read features on the Brooklyn Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge, and Golden Gate Bridge.
I wish to speak today; not as a Mass[achusetts] man – nor a Northern man – but as an American, & a member of the Senate of the U[nited] S[tate]s.
Daniel Webster’s notes for his speech to the United States Senate favoring the Compromise of 1850, March 7, 1850.
Words and Deeds in American History: Selected Documents Celebrating the Manuscript Division’s First 100 Years
produced by Mathew Brady’s studio, circa 1851-1860.
America’s First Look into the Camera: Daguerrotype Portraits and Views, 1839-1864
The acquisition of territory following the U.S. victory in the Mexican War revived concerns about the balance of free and slave states in the Union. On March 7, 1850, Senator Daniel Webster delivered his famous “Seventh of March” speech urging sectional compromise on the issue of slavery. Advising abolition-minded Northerners to forgo antislavery measures, he simultaneously cautioned Southerners that disunion inevitably would lead to war.
Following the lead of senators Henry Clay and Stephen Douglas, Webster endorsed Clay’s plan to assure sectional equilibrium in Congress. Passed after eight months of congressional wrangling, the legislation admitted California to the Union as a free state, permitted the question of slavery in Utah and New Mexico territories to be decided by popular sovereignty, settled Texas border disputes, and abolished slave trading in the District of Columbia while strengthening the Fugitive Slave Act.
The legislative package known as the Compromise of 1850 postponed the Civil War by a decade. However, like the 1820 Missouri Compromise, the Compromise of 1850 failed to resolve the question of slavery in a meaningful way. Over the course of the 1850s, the inadequacies of both measures were made painfully clear. “Popular sovereignty” undermined the Missouri compromise by suggesting the earlier division of the country along the thirty-sixth parallel into free states and slave states no longer applied. Indeed, the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 permitted slavery. The resulting bloodshed in Kansas, like later incidents at Harper’s Ferry, presaged the violent conflict of the Civil War.
produced by Mathew Brady’s studio, circa 1850-1852.
America’s First Look into the Camera: Daguerrotype Portraits and Views, 1839-1864
Incidents of the War. A Harvest of Death, Gettysburg, July 1863.
Timothy H. O’Sullivan, photographer.
•Words and Deeds in American History: Selected Documents Celebrating the Manuscript Division’s First 100 Years , an online display of approximately ninety representative documents preserved by the Manuscripts Division, Library of Congress, includes features on John C. Calhoun’s speech to the United States Senate against the Compromise of 1850 and Henry Clay’s appointment as secretary of state on March 7, 1825.
•Read the Documentary History of Slavery in the United States by John Larkin Dorsey. A contemporary of Webster and Clay, Dorsey reviews slavery in the U.S. from 1774 and the Continental Congress to 1850 with special attention to the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 and the probable dissolution of the Union. Search African American Perspectives: Pamphlets from the Daniel A. P. Murray Collection, 1818-1907 on slavery to access this document and many more.
•For more information about the movement to abolish slavery, visit the Abolition section of African American Odyssey, and the Abolition section of The African-American Mosaic as well. Also, read the Today in History features on Abolition in the District of Columbia , and on the abolitionists Lucretia Coffin Mott, and Elijah Parish Lovejoy.
•Browse The Frederick Douglass Papers. Many remarkable items are included in the papers of this nineteenth-century African-American abolitionist who escaped from slavery and then risked his own freedom by becoming an outspoken antislavery lecturer, writer, and publisher. The papers are divided into a series of nine sets. Set nine, for example, contains a booklet entitled Two Speeches by Frederick Douglass (on West Indian Emancipation and the Dred Scott Decision).
•A search on Daniel Webster in American Memory collections yields more than 2,000 items—including correspondence, speeches, images of statues, and even sheet music.
* Developed by the U.S. Department of Interior, National Park Service, U.S. Department of Transportation, The Federal Highway Administration, and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers.
Black History Month
0322 BC – Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, died.
1774 – The British closed the port of Boston to all commerce.
1799 – In Palestine, Napoleon captured Jaffa and his men massacred more than 2,000 Albanian prisoners.
1848 – In Hawaii, the Great Mahele was signed.
1849 – The Austrian Reichstag was dissolved.
1850 – U.S. Senator Daniel Webster endorsed the Compromise of 1850 as a method of preserving the Union.
1854 – Charles Miller received a patent for the sewing machine.
1876 – Alexander Graham Bell received a patent (U.S. Patent No. 174,465) for his telephone.
1901 – A grand jury indicted four citizens of Anderson, SC, that had been operating a slavery system in parts of South Carolina. It was determined that many African-Americans were captured while traveling, were jailed and then sent to work for local landowners.
1904 – The Japanese bombed the Russian town of Vladivostok.
1904 – In Springfield, OH, a mob broke into a jail and shot a black man accused of murder.
1906 – Finland granted women the right to vote.
1908 – Cincinnati’s Mayor Leopold Markbreit announced before the city council that, “Women are not physically fit to operate automobiles.”
1911 – Willis Farnworth patented the coin-operated locker.
1911 – In the wake of the Mexican Revolution, the U.S. sent 20,000 troops to the border of Mexico.
1918 – Finland signed an alliance treaty with Germany.
1925 – The Soviet Red Army occupied Outer Mongolia.
1933 – CBS radio debuted “Marie The Little French Princess.” It was the first daytime radio serial.
1933 – The board game Monopoly was invented.
1935 – Malcolm Campbell set an auto speed record of 276.8 mph in Florida.
1936 – Hitler sent German troops into the Rhineland in violation of the Locarno Pact and the Treaty of Versailles.
1942 – Japanese troops landed on New Guinea.
1945 – During World War II, U.S. forces crossed the Rhine River at Remagen, Germany.
1947 – John L. Lewis declared that only a totalitarian regime could prevent strikes.
1951 – U.N. forces in Korea under General Matthew Ridgeway launched Operation Ripper against the Chinese.
1954 – Russia appeared for the first time in ice-hockey competition. Russia defeated Canada 7-2 to win the world ice-hockey title in Stockholm, Sweden.
1955 – “Peter Pan” was presented as a television special for the first time.
1955 – Baseball commissioner Ford Frick said that he was in favor of legalizing the spitball.
1955 – Phyllis Diller made her debut at the Purple Onion in San Francisco, CA.
1959 – Melvin C. Garlow became the first pilot to fly over a million miles in jet airplanes.
1965 – State troopers and a sheriff’s posse broke up a march by civil rights demonstrators in Selma, AL.
1968 – The Battle of Saigon came to an end.
1971 – A thousand U.S. planes bombed Cambodia and Laos.
1975 – The U.S. Senate revised the filibuster rule. The new rule allowed 60 senators to limit debate instead of the previous two-thirds.
1981 – Anti-government guerrillas in Colombia executed the kidnapped American Bible translator Chester Allen Bitterman. The guerrillas accused Bitterman of being a CIA agent.
1983 – TNN (The Nashville Network) began broadcasting.
1985 – “Commonwealth” magazine ceased publication after five decades.
1985 – The first AIDS antibody test, an ELISA-type test, was released.
1987 – Mike Tyson became the youngest heavyweight titleholder when he beat James Smith in a decision during a 12-round fight in Las Vegas, NV.
1989 – Poland accused the Soviet Union of a World War II massacre in Katyn.
1994 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that parodies that poke fun at an original work can be considered “fair use” that does not require permission from the copyright holder.
1994 – In Moldova, a referendum was rejected by 90% of voters to form a union with Rumania.
1999 – In El Salvador, Francisco Flores Pérez of the ruling Nationalist Republican Alliance (Arena) was elected president.
2002 – A federal judge awarded Anna Nicole Smith more than $88 million in damages. The ruling was the latest in a legal battle over the estate of Smith’s late husband, J. Howard Marshall II.
2003 – Scientists at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center announced that they had transferred 6.7 gigabytes of uncompressed data from Sunnvale, CA, to Amsterdam, Netherlands, in 58 seconds. The data was sent via fiber-optic cables and traveled 6,800 miles.
2009 – NASA’s Kepler Mission, a space photometer for searching for extrasolar planets in the Milky Way galaxy, was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
2012 – The successor to Apple’s iPad2 was unveiled.
2017 – In Malta, the Azure Window landmark collapsed into the sea after period of heavy storms.
Maya Angelou once said,
“When people show you who they are, believe them.” This can be one of the hardest pieces of advice that I’ve ever tried to follow, but it is sage advice. When someone really shows you and tells you who they are, take them at their word. If someone you are dating cheats on you, see it.
When someone you love quits school because it’s not the right direction for them, hear them. When someone tells you that they have nothing left to give, believe them.
People know themselves far better than you know them. That is not to say that people can’t change down the road, but it does mean that when they are saying “this is who I am right now,” you can’t expect them to be someone else. Which leaves you in an empowering position. When you look at someone for who they are and not who you want them to be, you can decide if this is a healthy or unhealthy force in your life. You deserve to have healthy surroundings. If someone tells you over and over, “I love you, but I’m not healthy,” you have some decisions to make.
I know what you’re thinking, “But people can change! They can be what I envision for them!” This is unequivocally true – BUT, they will not change for you. They will not change within your time frame and you both have lives to live. Go live your life! If this person (friend, family, love) wants to be in your life, they will find the will to do the things that they have to in order to qualify for your definition of healthy. Just remember – that is on them, not you. If you find that your life has moved into a space that doesn’t include them any longer, wish them well! If you come back together and find that you mesh just right, invite them back in and continue the relationship. It is your path to navigate!
for the complete article and interview go to