Lyndon B. Johnson was the 36th President of the United States, serving from 1963 to 1969. He is best known for his “Great Society” domestic policies and his leading role in the passage of civil rights legislation, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Dr. Martin Luther King was a Baptist minister and social activist who played a key role in the American civil rights movement from the mid-1950s until his assassination in 1968.
King’s main legacy was to secure progress on civil rights in the United States, and he has become a symbol of this cause worldwide. The Selma to Montgomery marches were three protest marches, held in 1965, along the 54-mile (87 km) highway from Selma, Alabama to the state capital of Montgomery. The marches were organized by civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other activists to protest the denial of voting rights to African Americans.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a landmark civil rights and labor law in the United States that outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It prohibits unequal application of voter registration requirements, racial segregation in schools, employment, and public accommodations.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is a landmark piece of federal legislation in the United States that prohibits racial discrimination in voting. It was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson during the height of the civil rights movement on August 6, 1965, and Congress later amended the Act five times to expand its protections.
Lyndon B. Johnson and Dr. Martin Luther King both played integral roles in securing progress on civil rights for African Americans through legislation such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Selma to Montgomery marches were also a significant moment in the civil rights movement, raising awareness of the discrimination that African Americans faced when trying to exercise their right to vote. These events helped to shape the future of civil rights in America and continue to be remembered today.
The 1965 Selma campaign is looked at in Selma, Alabama. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s efforts to obtain equal voting rights for black Americans were chronicled there. In protest of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s inaction on voting rights legislation, King organized marches from the town of Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.
Through the powerful performances of David Oyelowo as King and Tim Roth as Alabama governor George Wallace, among others, director Ava DuVernay brings the Civil Rights Movement to life in this exceptional film.
While Selma dramatizes a very specific moment in time, its lessons about courage, resilience, and hope are timeless and just as relevant today as they were 50 years ago. The film is an essential part of understanding the Civil Rights Movement and its impact on American history.
We learn more about King’s political obstacles and negotiations behind the scenes to achieve his goals, including compromises within his own political, racial, and religious beliefs in order to reach a greater goal. We also find out more about the personal costs Martin faced as an icon of Civil Rights, as well as how it impacted his family and marriage.
Lyndon Baines Johnson was the 36th President of the United States, taking office after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. A Democrat from Texas, Johnson had served in various capacities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate prior to becoming Vice President. As President, Johnson was responsible for signing into law several key pieces of legislation, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 – two bills that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had been pushing for during his time leading the Civil Rights movement.
Though he had initially been reluctant to support these bills (fearing a negative political backlash), Johnson eventually came around after witnessing first-hand the brutal violence inflicted upon peaceful protesters during the Selma to Montgomery marches in 1965. In a now-famous speech, Johnson urged Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act, calling it “the next and most important step” in ensuring equality for all Americans, regardless of race.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the most prominent leaders of the Civil Rights movement. A Baptist minister from Atlanta, Georgia, King is best known for his work in combating racial segregation and discrimination through nonviolent means such as civil disobedience and protests. His efforts culminated in the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 – two pieces of legislation that Lyndon B. Johnson had been hesitant to support initially but eventually came around to after seeing the violence that was being inflicted upon peaceful protesters during the Selma to Montgomery marches.
Unfortunately, King’s work also made him a target for those opposed to the Civil Rights movement. In 1968, he was assassinated by James Earl Ray in Memphis, Tennessee. His death resulted in widespread rioting and protests across the country. Lyndon B. Johnson declared a national day of mourning, and Martin Luther King Jr.’s funeral was attended by over 10,000 people, including Johnson himself.
The Selma to Montgomery marches were a series of three protest marches that took place in 1965 in Selma, Alabama. The first march, which became known as “Bloody Sunday,” ended in violence when state troopers attacked peaceful protesters with billy clubs and tear gas.
The second march culminated in a standoff at the Edmund Pettus Bridge, where protesters were met by a wall of state troopers. The third and final march ended in Montgomery, Alabama, with a peaceful rally at the Alabama State Capitol. These marches helped to bring about the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which guaranteed African Americans the right to vote.