In February 1965, Jimmy Lee Jackson was shot and killed by a state trooper on a protest march. Two weeks later, in Selma, Alabama, a march was organised to protest Jackson’s death. The march was met by state troopers at the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The troopers fired tear gas and protesters were beaten, set upon by dogs and charged with horses. Other marches followed and for the third march, a court order was raised that prevented the state from blocking the Selma to Montgomery March.
Discuss why the marches had such a public and political impact. Look at the response from President Johnson and create a diagram explaining his motivation for presenting what would become the Voting Rights Act. View Johnson’s speech and consider how different individuals and groups would have felt listening to it.