In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a showing of the film Selma has been set for Thursday, April 19th, from 6:30 to 9 pm, in the Cantwell Room of the Saranac Lake Free Library.
This 2014 award winning historical drama tells the story of the campaign for voting rights. On what is now known as Bloody Sunday (March 7, 1965), some 600 civil rights marchers headed east out of Selma on U.S. Route 80. They got only as far as the Edmund Pettus Bridge six blocks away, where state and local lawmen attacked them with billy clubs and tear gas and drove them back into Selma.
Two days later on March 9, Martin Luther King, Jr., led another “symbolic” march to the bridge. Civil rights leaders then sought court protection for a third, full-scale march from Selma to the state capitol in Montgomery.
The Federal District Court ruled “The law is clear that the right to petition one’s government for the redress of grievances may be exercised in large groups…, and these rights may be exercised by marching, even along public highways.”
On Sunday, March 21, about 3,200 marchers set out for Montgomery, walking 12 miles a day and sleeping in fields. By the time they reached the capitol on Thursday, March 25th, they were 25,000-strong. Less than five months after the last of the three marches, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
There will be a brief introduction, refreshments and discussion time available.
This event is hosted by the Peace with Justice Committee of the Saranac Lake Ecumenical Council.
The Saranac Lake Free Library is located at 109 Main St, Saranac Lake. For more information, call Rev. White at (518) 891-3401.
A version of this article first appeared on the Adirondack Almanack.