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Civil rights activist Sam Boynton and his wife led black voter registration drives and hosted the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in Selma, Alabama.
Bloody Sunday (4:04)
On March 7, 1965 around 600 people crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in an attempt to begin the Selma to Montgomery march. State troopers violently attacked the peaceful demonstrators in an attempt to stop the march for voting rights.
On Sunday, March 21, 1965, nearly 8,000 people began the five-day march from Selma to Montgomery for voting rights.
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His case, Boynton vs. Virginia, was taken to the Supreme Court. In 1960, the court ruled that interstate travel would be desegregated. The breakthrough paved the way for the Freedom Rides of 1961 and 1964's Civil Rights Act.
Unfortunately, Sam Boynton would not live to see the latter event. He died of a heart attack in Selma in May 1963. His wife, Amelia, vowed to carry on the couple's fight for blacks' equality. In 1964,
she and civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. planned the Selma to Montgomery March of March 7, 1965.
During the "Bloody Sunday" March, 17 protesters were sent to the hospital, including Amelia Boynton. A newspaper photo of her lying bloody and unconscious drew national attention to the cause. Bloody Sunday prompted President Lyndon B. Johnson to sign the Voting Rights Act on August 6, 1965.
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