Commemorating the 48th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday

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  • 05 / Mar / 2013
  • 07 / Mar / 2013
  • 07 / Mar / 2013

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative



LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION commemorating the 48th Anniversary of Bloody

WHEREAS, On March 7, 1965, 600 civil rights demonstrators marched 54
miles from Selma to the state capital of Montgomery, Alabama; and
WHEREAS, The demonstrators organized to promote black voter registra-
tion and challenge the killing of Jimmie Lee Jackson, who had been
killed by an Alabama state trooper three weeks earlier while trying to
protect his mother at a civil rights demonstration; and
WHEREAS, For 100 years after Emancipation laws, intimidation tactics,
and violence prevented African-Americans from going to the polls; and
WHEREAS, In the city of Selma, African-Americans comprised more than
half the population yet were only 2% of the registered voters; and
WHEREAS, The march was led by luminaries including John Lewis, then
head of the voter registration effort of the Student Nonviolent Coordi-
nating Committee and activist Hosea Williams; and
WHEREAS, The demonstrators silently proceeded from the steps of the
Brown Chapel AME Church to the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma; and
WHEREAS, The demonstrators were brazenly attacked by heavily armed
police officers; and
WHEREAS, On March 8, 1965, the NEW YORK TIMES described the events
that day, "The first 10 or 20 Negroes were swept to the ground scream-
ing, arms and legs flying and packs and bags went skittering across the
grassy divider strip and on to the pavement on both sides. Those still
on their feet retreated." The Times related the scene in make-shift
hospital as: "Negroes lay on the floors and chairs, many weeping and
moaning. A girl in red slacks was carried from the house screaming. From
the hospital came a report that the victims had suffered fractures of
ribs, heads, arms and legs, in addition to cuts and bruises."; and
WHEREAS, The violence against the peaceful demonstrators became known
as "Bloody Sunday" and shocked millions of Americans; and
WHEREAS, Within 48 hours, demonstrations in support of the marchers
were held in 80 cities across the United States of America; and
WHEREAS, On March 15, 1965, a mere eight days later, President Lyndon
Baines Johnson announced to the nation before a televised Joint Session
of Congress, "Allow men and women to register and vote whatever the
color of their skin."; he championed the cause of the demonstrators who
crossed the Pettus Bridge, "their cause must be our cause, too. Because
it's not just Negroes, but really it's all of us, who must overcome the
crippling legacy of bigotry and injustice. And we shall overcome."; and
WHEREAS, Less than five months later on August 6, 1965, President
Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law; and
WHEREAS, Within four years of enacting the Voting Rights Act, the
number of blacks eligible to vote rose from 23% to 51%; now, therefore,
be it
RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
commemorate the 48th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday, and to recognize the
heroism, sacrifice, and commitment of those who lost their lives and
were injured during the events surrounding "Bloody Sunday"; and be it
RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran-
smitted to Ms. Hazel Dukes, President, National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People, New York State Conference.


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