Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee

Organizers of events marking the 50th anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march say it will celebrate what happened in 1965 and energize people to address challenges to voting today.

Southern Christian Leadership Conference President Charles Steele, state Sen. Hank Sanders and others announced Wednesday that Selma's annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee will be expanded for the 50th anniversary in March. It will include a re-enactment of the 50-mile march from Selma to the state Capitol in Montgomery.

Dave Martin

A group re-enacting the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march is scheduled to complete the journey at the state Capitol.

The group began its walk Monday. They are supposed to complete the last leg from west Montgomery to the downtown Capitol about 11 a.m. Friday. They will stand where Martin Luther King Jr. addressed thousands of marchers in 1965.

Events surrounding the 48th anniversary of the march began last weekend with the Bridge Crossing Jubilee in Selma. Vice President Joe Biden and more than 20 U.S senators and representatives attended the events in Selma.

Vice President Joe Biden said nothing shaped his consciousness more than seeing TV footage of voting rights marchers being beaten by state troopers on Selma's Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965.

Biden traveled to Selma on Sunday to participate in the Bridge Crossing Jubilee. The event commemorates the 1965 march, which prompted Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act and add millions of African-Americans to Southern voter rolls.

Sutherland Boswell / Wikimedia Commons

A congressional delegation headed to the Bridge Crossing Jubilee in Selma will spend Saturday in Montgomery.

The delegation led by Rep. John Lewis of Georgia will conduct a wreath-laying ceremony at the Civil Rights Memorial at 11:30 a.m. A spokesman said it will honor people slain during the civil rights movement.

Members of Congress are visiting the University of Alabama to see the place where former Gov. George C. Wallace made his "Stand in the Schoolhouse Door" against racial integration 50 years ago.

The leaders will be in Tuscaloosa on Friday for commemoration program.

The event will held at the auditorium where Wallace tried to block the enrollment of black students at Alabama in 1963.

Among those greeting the delegation will be a daughter of Wallace, Peggy Wallace Kennedy.

Organizers of Selma's annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee say Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, will participate in the events.

Democratic state Sen. Hank Sanders of Selma said Saturday the Bidens will attend a unity brunch and participate in the annual crossing of the Edmund Pettus Bridge on March 3. Sanders said the Bidens will help observe Selma's historic role in the civil rights movement. The Bridge Crossing Jubilee celebrates the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march that led to passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.