Earlier this year we travelled to Montgomery along with other destinations in the Deep South to explore the legacy of the struggle for civil rights in Alabama and why they remain so important today. Our Rough Guide to Montgomery video is the first in a series of short films exploring the legacy of protest in the state.
The state of Alabama – capital, Montgomery – has been getting a lot press recently, and not much of it positive. Despite recents attempts by the state legislature to roll back women's rights, in the 1950 and '60s, Montgomery was the site of several important events in the fight for civil rights for African Americans.
On the first of December 1955, local resident Rosa Parks was arrested in Montgomery for refusing to give up her seat on the bus to a white man. Following this event, local pastor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (who at the time was pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church) organised a the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which lasted for over a year, until segregation on public transport in the town was lifted on 21st December 1956.
Nine years later, in 1965, Luther King organised a 50-mile march from the town of Selma to Montgomery in protest at the Jim Crow laws that prevented African Americans from registering to vote. The violence they faced on the march at the hands of local police shocked the country. The National Guard was sent in to protect the marchers and by the time they arrived in the city the protest was 25,000 people strong. The marched proved to be a key turning point in the adoption of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that enforced the rights of African Americans to vote.
If you're thinking of exploring the Deep South, get in touch. Our tailor-made travel service will connect you with a local expert to plan and book a fully personalised trip.
Book car hire in Alabama with Hertz.co.uk from £32 a day. For further road trip inspiration, head to the Hertz American Road Trip Planner and discover iconic and off-the-beaten track routes, downloadable maps and insider guides. For more information on the region visit the Deep South website.
National Memorial for Peace & Justice https://museumandmemorial.eji.org/visit#tickets
Legacy Museum https://museumandmemorial.eji.org/visit#tickets
Civil Rights Memorial Center Tour https://www.splcenter.org/civil-rights-memorial
Fitzgerald Museum Tour https://www.thefitzgeraldmuseum.org
Dexter Church Tour http://www.dexterkingmemorial.org
Header Image: Montgomery and the Alabama river © Nagel Photography/Shutterstock