Montgomery Bus Boycott

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Selma to Montgomery-(A Great Moment in History)

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By Gregg L Greer, One World, Editor

On this date in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson informed Alabama’s Governor George Wallace that he will utilize federal authority to order the Alabama National Guard to control a prepared civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery.

Bloody Sunday March
Bloody Sunday March 7, 1965

Bullying and bigotry had earlier blocked Selma’s black population–over half the city–from registering and voting.

On Sunday, March 7, 1965, a gathering of 600 demonstrators marched on the capital city of Montgomery to oppose this disenfranchisement and the earlier murder of a black man, Jimmie Lee Jackson, by a state patrolman. In brutal scenes that aired on television, state and local police assaulted the marchers with billy clubs and tear gas. TV spectators far and wide were outraged by the pictures, and a protest march was organized just forty eight hours after “Bloody Sunday” by Martin Luther King, Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). King directed the marchers to turn back around, nevertheless, rather than carry out the march without federal constitutional support.

After an Alabama federal judge ruled on March 18
After an Alabama federal judge ruled on March 18

After an Alabama federal judge ruled on March 18 that a third march could go forward, President Johnson and his advisers worked instantly to find a way to guarantee the protection of King and his demonstrators on their passage from Selma to Montgomery. The most compelling obstacle in their way was Governor Wallace, an outspoken anti-integrationist who was reluctant to use any state funds on guarding the demonstrators. Hours after vowing to Johnson–in phone calls recorded by the White House–that he would order out the Alabama National Guard to preserve order, Wallace went on television and charged that Johnson should send in federal troops instead.

Johnson himself was calling the guard up and giving them all required support
Johnson himself was calling the guard up and giving them all required support

Infuriated, Johnson then ordered Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach to write a press release stating that because Wallace refused to use the 10,000 prepared guardsmen to preserve order in his state, Johnson himself was calling the guard up and giving them all required support. Some days following, 50,000 marcher joined King in an amazing 54 miles, under the observant perceptions of state and federal troops.

 King delivered his famous "How Long, Not Long" speech from the steps of the Capitol building.
King delivered his famous “How Long, Not Long” speech from the steps of the Capitol building.

Entering safely in Montgomery on March 25, all attended when King delivered his famous “How Long, Not Long” speech from the steps of the Capitol building. The dispute between Johnson and Wallace–and Johnson’s decisive response–was a significant turning point in the civil rights crusade. Within five months, Congress had enacted the Voting Rights Act, which Johnson boastfully endorsed into law on August 6, 1965.

       One World     Gregg Greer a Public Speaker, Minister, and Social Activist Gregg Greer as the Editor of One World, and One World Today internet journals. you can reach him at one1worldtoday@gmail.com.

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This Day in History Oct 14, 1964 King wins Nobel Peace Prize

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This Day in History Oct 14, 1964 King wins Nobel Peace Prize

“I am glad people of other nations are concerned with our problems here,” he said. He added that he regarded the prize as a sign that world public opinion was on the side of those struggling for freedom and dignity.

He also said he saw no political implications in the award. “I am a minister of the gospel, not a political leader,” he said

African American civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent resistance to racial prejudice in America. At 35 years of age, the Georgia-born minister was the youngest person ever to receive the award.

Martin Luther King, Jr., was born in Atlanta in 1929, the son of a Baptist minister. He received a doctorate degree in theology and in 1955 organized the first major protest of the civil rights movement: the successful Montgomery Bus Boycott. Influenced by Mohandas Gandhi, he advocated nonviolent civil disobedience to racial segregation. The peaceful protests he led throughout the American South were often met with violence, but King and his followers persisted, and their nonviolent movement gained momentum.