old US 80Enlarge Photo
Hugh chose old US 80 for its collection of Americana, authentic cuisine, and various reminders of important moments in U.S. history. We just hadn't suspected that the reminders would be quite so vivid.
Old US 80 includes the Edmund Pettus bridge that crosses the Alabama River in Selma, Ala. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Senator John Lewis, and a host of civil rights activists and disenfranchised black Americans marched in a show of solidarity not once, not twice, but three times in an attempt to lobby for equal voting rights. The third time, they finally made it to Montgomery, the state capital, after days of marching on foot. I remembered the story from history class, but had forgotten that police dogs, troops, tear gas, and batons were used to keep the marchers from completing their route. The third attempt was successful, thanks in part to LBJ and federal troops, but not before blood had been shed and lives lost in this iconic '60s civil rights struggle.
Voting RightsEnlarge Photo
Martin Luther King, Jr. statementEnlarge Photo
Edmund Pettus Bridge #2Enlarge Photo