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Celebrating voters’ rights in Selma

Courtesy Selma

In Selma, Ala., there are two civil rights sites that will become even more prominent in 2015 but will be included on many trips to Birmingham in 2013 due to their ongoing historical significance.

“We expect to see many visitors to the National Voting Rights Museum and the Edmund Pettus Bridge next year,” said Candace Johnson, tourism director for the Selma-Dallas County Convention and Visitors Bureau. “While the anniversary dates tied to those sites date to 1965 instead of 1963, we will be tying into all the events and commemorations taking place in Birmingham next year, as well.

“We actually have two tour guides who took part in the voting rights walks in 1965. It’s very inspirational to walk the bridge with them,” said Johnson. “On that other side of that bridge in 1965, there were law enforcement officials waiting with tear gas and riot sticks. It was an iconic moment for the voting rights movement.

“The Voting Rights Museum includes footprints of the foot soldiers who walked across the bridge. There are several rooms of memorabilia, including very moving notes from many who participated on both sides. There is a lot of reconciliation in those notes.

“Our message to the world in Selma is that when people can come together, equality will win.”

Mac Lacy

Mac Lacy is president and publisher of The Group Travel Leader Inc. Mac has been traveling and writing professionally ever since a two-month backpacking trip through Europe upon his graduation with a journalism degree from the University of Evansville in 1978.