On this day in history, March 7, 1965, Civil Rights advocates started forth on a march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in a dramatic gesture aimed at guaranteeing African Americans' voting rights in the South.

The march never progressed past Selma, because white police officers surrounded the thousands of protesters on the Edmund Pettus Bridge and used Billy clubs and tear gas to break up the march.

Despite the violent quashing of the march, the events in Selma did help to bring about passage of the Voting Rights Bill, as a dismayed nation was galvanized to action by the sight of unarmed, peaceful protesters brutalized by police.

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