The Edmund Pettus Bridge is a bridge that carries U.S. Route 80 across the Alabama River in Selma, Alabama. Built in 1940, it is named for Edmund Winston Pettus, a former Confederate brigadier general and U.S. Senator from Alabama. The bridge is a steel through arch bridge with a central span of 250 feet (76 m). It is famous as the site of the conflict of Bloody Sunday on March 7, 1965, when armed officers attacked peaceful civil rights demonstrators attempting to march to the state capital of Montgomery.The bridge was declared a National Historic Landmark on March 11, 2013.
“site of bloody sunday”
Passing over this bridge and following the signs of the historic march is very eyeopening. The people of the Voting Rights March were very determined people. I cannot fathom the emotions of the locals of Selma that walk across the bridge every single day and remember Bloody Sunday. As I crossed the bridge I tried to imagine how MLKJ and his followers felt as they met Alabama State Police eye to eye and were brutally attacked. Across the bridge there is a storage shed that has tons of beautiful artwork and quotes regarding the march and history of Selma you might be interested in getting photos of.
We also started our drive through Alabama starting at this bridge and driving along to Montgomery it was eye opening just how determined and passionate this group of people were, agreed this March (54 miles) was not easy.
We parked for free on the Selma side of the bridge along Water Avenue. There is a plaque commemorating the events that took place. Driving down US80 towards Montgomery, it became apparent that this was no easy march. This bridge is a great start to bringing history alive along the Voting Rights Trail.
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