Today honors the  third of the Selma – Montgomery Marches (March 21-25).
The first march took place on Sunday, March 7, 1965, and was quickly confronted by the extreme violence of state and local law enforcement. It became known as Bloody Sunday.
The second march took place on March 9, 1965, but turned back part way through after confrontation with state troopers and police. That night, a white group beat and murdered civil rights activist James Reeb, a Unitarian Universalist minister from Boston, who had come to Selma to march with this second group of marchers.
The violence of “Bloody Sunday” and Reeb’s murder led to a national outcry that resulted a third march under protection from the Alabama National Guard under federal command. This third march began on March 21 in Selma and made its way to the Alabama state capital in Montgomery on March 25, 1965.
The route is memorialized as the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail.