DOVER, Del. – Following its 54-0 victory at Concordia-Selma on Saturday, October 11, the Wesley College football coaching staff took the team to the historic Edmund Pettus Bridge and shared with them the history of the Bloody Sunday Conflict and its role in the Civil Rights Movement.
The bridge, which was built in 1940, is named for Edmund Winston Pettus, a former Confederate brigadier general and United States Senator. Declared a National Historic landmark nearly two years ago, the Edmund Pettus Bridge is famous as the site of the conflict of Bloody Sunday on March 7, 1965, when armed officers attacked peaceful civil rights demonstrators attempting to march to the State Capitol of Montgomery.
Approximately six hundred marchers assembled in Selma on March 7 and attempted to cross the bridge en route to Montgomery but found their way blocked by law enforcement officials and were ordered to turn around. When the protestors refused, over fifty people were hospitalized.
The events were televised around the World and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., called for civil rights supporters to come to Selma for a second march just two days later. Leading the March across the bridge on March 9 despite requests from Congress, the March helped the federal Voting Rights Act get passed on August 6, 1965.
Enforcing the 15th Amendment of the Constitution, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 prohibits racial discrimination in voting.