This Day in Black History: March 21, 1965

Civil rights demonstrators march from Selma, Ala., to the state’s capital of Montgomery. 

Posted: 03/21/2012 07:00 AM EDT

After two unsuccessful attempts that were marred by violence, Martin Luther King Jr. leads an estimated 3,200 civil rights demonstrators on a historic march from Selma, Ala., to the state’s capital of Montgomery in what would be known as the Alabama Freedom March. The demonstrators were rallying for equal voting rights for African-Americans, who had been disenfranchised by racist voting laws adopted in many southern states after the Civil War. In response to the effort, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that August, the legislation which outlaws discriminatory voting practices in the United States.


Also, on this day in 1990, the country presently known as the Republic of Namibia gained independence from South Africa.  


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(Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

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