Senate passes bill to award Congressional Gold Medal to Selma marchers


Police wait for marchers to come across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma on March 7 1965. (Photo Credit: Dept. of Justice/MGN Online)

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WASHINGTON (AP) – The Senate has voted to award the Congressional Gold Medal to honor those who participated in the historic Selma civil rights protest 50 years ago, enduring police violence as they peacefully marched for the right to vote.

The unanimous voice vote sends the issue back to the House, which passed its own version earlier this month.The measure honors the mostly black “foot soldiers” who tried to march from Selma to Montgomery to demand voting rights in March 1965.

Alabama police attacked several hundred marchers as they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge near Selma.The violence shocked many Americans and spurred larger marches and protests for civil rights in Alabama and elsewhere.

President Barack Obama will travel to Selma on March 7 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the march.

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