The Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., is now on the National Register of Historic Places. The U.S. Secretary of the Interior and National Park Service made that announcement last month. Civil rights marchers, wanting to draw attention to the need for voting rights legislation on March 7, 1965, were attacked by state law enforcement officials as they crossed the renowned bridge. Known as “Bloody Sunday,” the attack was a major, if not the deciding, factor in the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
National historic landmarks are nationally significant historic places that possess exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States. The program, established in 1935, is administered by the National Park Service on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior. Currently there are 2,540 designated national historic landmarks. The designation of the Edmund Pettus Bridge is a tribute to the courageous folks who attempted to cross the bridge 48 years ago!
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