Foot Soldiers of the 1965 Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights Marches Bronze Medal
This medal is a bronze replica of the Congressional Gold Medal presented collectively to the voting rights marchers—known as foot soldiers—who participated in the Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, voting rights marches of 1965.
March 7, 2015, marked the 50th anniversary of the peaceful marches by civil rights demonstrators from all racial and economic backgrounds to protest the denial of voting rights to African-Americans. The first march, which left the Brown Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in an attempt to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge, was unsuccessful. The day became known as Bloody Sunday because of the brutal resistance the protestors encountered. The second attempt to cross the bridge, known as Turnaround Tuesday, was halted because of concern for the protestors’ safety. Undeterred, the protestors attempted a third march from Selma to Montgomery which was successful, becoming a climactic event in the civil rights movement.
The extraordinary bravery and sacrifice of these men and women brought national attention to the struggle for equal voting rights and served as the catalyst for Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which President Lyndon Johnson signed into law on August 6, 1965.
The obverse (heads side) design depicts foot soldiers crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge on their 54-mile journey from Selma to Montgomery.
The reverse (tails side) design commemorates the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The design features a hand, a voting ballot box and the quote “EVERY AMERICAN CITIZEN MUST HAVE AN EQUAL RIGHT TO VOTE,” from President Lyndon B. Johnson's voting rights speech to Congress.
- SELMA TO MONTGOMERY MARCHES 1965
- FOOT SOLDIERS FOR JUSTICE
- EVERY AMERICAN CITIZEN MUST HAVE AN EQUAL RIGHT TO VOTE,
- VOTING RIGHTS ACT OF 1965
- ACT OF CONGRESS 2015
- Designer: Donna Weaver, Artistic Infusion Program