Camera icon. This link bypasses navigation taking you directly to the contents of this page.

How to Use the Images


Inquiry Question

Historical Context



Photo 1
Photo 2 and 3
Photo 4
Photo 5


Table of

Visual Evidence

Photo 6: View of Martin Luther King, Jr., addressing the marchers at the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery.

[Photo 4] with link to larger version of photo.
(© Bettmann/CORBIS)

Questions for Photo 6

King was not allowed to speak from the steps of the Capitol. Can you find the line of state troopers that blocked the way? Why do you think he was not allowed to stand on the steps to speak to the crowd?

One of the reasons people wanted to march from Selma to Montgomery was to present a petition to Governor George Wallace. Wallace was in his office watching the crowd as King was speaking. Why do you think he refused to meet with the marchers? Wallace’s aides reportedly commented that he was looking at the inaugural crowds of the future. What do you think the aides meant by their comment?

Look closely at the flags flying over the dome of the Capitol Building. In 1861, the earliest part of this building served as the first capitol of the Confederacy. In 1965 it was flying the Confederate flag right below the Alabama state flag. Why do you think a U.S. state capitol building would fly the Confederate flag?

4. King’s speech was covered by all major radio and television networks. The speech was a famous one—quoting the Battle Hymn of the Republic in referring to the voting rights campaign. Why do you think the march and King’s speech were considered so important?

* The image on this screen has a resolution of 72 dots per inch (dpi), and therefore will print poorly. You can obtain a larger version of Photo 4 , but be aware that the file will take as much as 41 seconds to load with a 28.8K modem.



Comments or Questions

National Park Service arrowhead with link to NPS website.