Edmund Winston Pettus Bridge became a symbol of the momentous changes taking place in Alabama, America, and the world. It was here that voting rights marchers were violently confronted by law enforcement personnel on March 7, 1965.
The day became known as Bloody Sunday. The march resumed on Sunday March 21, with court protection through Federal District Court Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr., who weighed the right of mobility against the right to march and ruled in favor of the demonstrators. “The law is clear that the right to petition one’s government for the redress of grievances may be exercised in large groups…,” said Judge Johnson, “and these rights may be exercised by marching, even along public highways.”