Senate Votes to Award Congressional Medal to Selma Marchers

In this March 7, 1965 file photo, John Lewis, center, of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, is forced to the ground by a trooper as state troopers break up the demonstration on what has become known as "Bloody Sunday" in Selma, Ala. Supporters of black voting rights organized a march from Selma to Montgomery to protest the killing of a demonstrator by a state trooper and to improve voter registration for blacks, who are discouraged to register. (AP Photo)
In this March 7, 1965 file photo, John Lewis, center, of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, is forced to the ground by a trooper as state troopers break up the demonstration on what has become known as "Bloody Sunday" in Selma, Ala. Supporters of black voting rights organized a march from Selma to Montgomery to protest the killing of a demonstrator by a state trooper and to improve voter registration for blacks, who are discouraged to register.  (AP Photo)
In this March 7, 1965 file photo, John Lewis, center, of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, is forced to the ground by a trooper as state troopers break up the demonstration on what has become known as “Bloody Sunday” in Selma, Ala. Supporters of black voting rights organized a march from Selma to Montgomery to protest the killing of a demonstrator by a state trooper and to improve voter registration for blacks, who are discouraged to register. (AP Photo)

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has voted to award the Congressional Gold Medal to honor those who participated in the historic Selma civil rights protest 50 years ago, enduring police violence as they peacefully marched for the right to vote.

The unanimous voice vote sends the issue back to the House, which passed its own version earlier this month.

The measure honors the mostly black “foot soldiers” who tried to march from Selma to Montgomery to demand voting rights in March 1965. Alabama police attacked several hundred marchers as they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge near Selma.

The violence shocked many Americans and spurred larger marches and protests for civil rights in Alabama and elsewhere.

President Barack Obama will travel to Selma on March 7 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the march.

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