1965 Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights Marches Bronze Medalhttps://catalog.usmint.gov/1965-selma-to-montgomery-voting-rights-marches-bronze-medal-MASTER_MDVR.html
- Bronze duplicate of the Congressional Gold Medal honoring the foot soldiers of the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches
- Available in 1.5 or 3 inches in diameter
- Minted at the U.S. Mint at Philadelphia
The 1965 Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights Marches medal minted at the U.S. Mint at Philadelphia. This medal is a bronze duplicate of the Congressional Gold Medal awarded in recognition of the protest marches that took place in March 1965. These marches served as a catalyst for the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Protesters in these marches are known as the “foot soldiers of the voting rights movement.” The three marches, known now as “Bloody Sunday,” “Turnaround Tuesday” and the “Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights March,” brought people together from all racial and economic backgrounds to participate in peaceful protest marches. Participants in the first march, on March 7, 1965, led by civil rights leader John Lewis and Reverend Hosea Williams, met with brutal resistance in their attempt to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The second march attempt, led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was turned back to the Brown Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church after he feared for the safety of the protesters. Under federal protection, the final successful march from Selma to Montgomery March 21–25, 1965, celebrated the marchers’ achievements and included a processional for fallen comrades. Walking 54 miles from Selma to the state capitol building in Montgomery, the protesters symbolized the 100–year journey it took for African–Americans to gain the right to vote.
The obverse design depicts foot soldiers crossing the Edmond Pettus Bridge on their 54–mile journey to Montgomery, Alabama. Inscriptions are “SELMA TO MONTGOMERY MARCHES 1965” and “FOOT SOLDIERS FOR JUSTICE.”
The reverse design commemorating the Voting Rights Act of 1965, features a hand, ballot box and the quote “EVERY AMERICAN CITIZEN MUST HAVE AN EQUAL RIGHT TO VOTE,” from Lyndon B. Johnson’s voting rights speech to Congress. Additional inscriptions are “VOTING RIGHTS ACT OF 1965” and “ACT OF CONGRESS 2015.”