Zippy's Video of the Week: Rep. John Lewis Funeral Procession Over Edmund Pettus Bridge
U.S. Representative John Lewis was among the civil rights protestors who crossed Alabama's Edmund Pettus Bridge on March 7, 1965, on their way to the capitol in Montogomery to demonstrate in support of African American voting rights.
Because of the design of the bridge, the protesters were unable to see the line of police officers waiting on the other side the bridge until they were already across. Despite this danger, Rep. Lewis, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the protesters bravely continued their march. They were attacked and brutally beaten by police and the state troopers when they reached the other side.
The incident became known as Bloody Sunday and sparked national attention with images of beaten protestors spread across television and newspapers and garnered support for the voting rights movement.
Rep. Lewis went on to a long and storied career in the U.S. House of Representatives. He died on July 17, 2020. As part of his funeral procession, his body was carried across the bridge one final time, pausing to stop in the center of the bridge, and pausing again on the east side where the 1965 protestors were attacked by police. Rep. Lewis's casket then traveled on to Montgomery where he laid in repose at the Alabama State Capitol.