On this day in Alabama history: Amelia Boynton Robinson died

On this day in Alabama history: Amelia Boynton Robinson died
The First Family joined others in beginning the walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge at the 50th anniversary commemoration of the Selma to Montgomery March on March 8, 2015. (Official White House photo by Lawrence Jackson)

Aug. 26, 2015

Amelia Boynton Robinson, a longtime civil rights activist who helped organize the aborted 1965 Selma to Montgomery march known as “Bloody Sunday,” died on this day at the age of 104. A native of Savannah, Georgia, Robinson later moved to Alabama and with her husband became active in voting rights and other causes in Selma during the 1930s. Having met the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1954, she invited him and other movement leaders to house the Selma headquarters of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in her home and office in 1964. When the March 7, 1965, march turned violent, she was one of 17 participants hospitalized. News photos of her being beaten and gassed by authorities on the Edmund Pettus Bridge drew widespread attention and helped prompt passage of the Voting Rights Act. President Lyndon Johnson invited Robinson to attend the law’s signing as a guest of honor. Robinson also was the first African American woman to run for Congress in Alabama, waging an unsuccessful campaign in 1964.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

Related Stories