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Selma, Alabama

Selma, Alabama
Selma, Alabama

Selma is located at 32°24′26″N 87°1′16″W / 32.40722°N 87.02111°W / 32.40722; [1] west of Montgomery. -87.02111, According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.4 square miles (37.4 km²), of which, 13.9 square miles (35.9 km²) of it is land and 0.6 square miles (1.5 km²) of it (4.02%) is water. The ZIP codes for Selma are 36701 and 36703: 36702 is a ZIP code used only for P.O. Boxes, but 36701 is a standard ZIP code.

Location in Dallas County and the state of Alabama

Coordinates: 32°24′59″N 87°1′29″W / 32.41639°N 87.02472°W / 32.41639; -87.02472 Country State County Government - Mayor Area - Total - Land - Water Elevation Population (2000) - Total - Density Time zone - Summer (DST) ZIP codes Area code(s) FIPS code GNIS feature ID Website United States Alabama Dallas George Evans 14.5 sq mi (37.4 km2) 13.9 sq mi (35.9 km2) 0.6 sq mi (1.5 km2) 125 ft (38 m) 20,512 1,414.6/sq mi (548.4/km2) Central (CST) (UTC-6) CDT (UTC-5) 36701-36703 334 01-69120 0163940

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 20,512 people, 8,196 households, and 5,343 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,479.6 people per square mile (571.4/km²). There were 9,264 housing units at an average density of 668.3/sq mi (258.1/ km²). The racial makeup of the city was 69.68% Black or African American, 28.77% White, 0.10% Native American, 0.56% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.22% from other races, and 0.66% from two or more races. There were 8,196 households, out of which 30.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them; 34.2% were married couples living together, 27.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.8% were non-families. 32.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.10. In the city the population was spread out with 27.3% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 24.9% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 16.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 78.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 72.0 males. The median income for a household in the city was $21,261, and the median income for a family was $28,345. Males had a median income of $29,769 versus $18,129 for females.

Selma is a city in and the county seat of Dallas County, Alabama, United States, located on the banks of the Alabama River. The population was 20,512 at the 2000 census. The city is best known for the Selma to Montgomery marches, three civil rights marches that began in the city. Recently, it has made news for its high unemployment rate.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Population of Selma[3] Year 1900 1906/7 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 Population 7,600 12,000 19,800 22,800 28,400 27,400 26,700 23,800 20,512

Selma, Alabama

The per capita income for the city was $13,369. About 26.9% of families and 31.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 41.8% of those under age 18 and 28.0% of those age 65 or over.

Native American lore states that Selma is built where Chief Tuskaloosa met with explorer DeSoto. The site was officially recorded in 1732 as Ecor Bienville, then later as the Moore’s Bluff settlement. In 1820, Selma (meaning "high seat" or "throne") was incorporated. It was planned and named by future Vice President of the United States William R. King.

employing at least ten thousand people. Three Ironclad warships, the Tennessee, the Huntsville, and the Tuscaloosa were built at Selma. A sister ship to the Tennessee was scrapped when her keel cracked when the ship was launched. Millions of dollars worth of army supplies were accumulated and distributed from Selma.

Previous attempts on Selma
The capacities and importance of Selma to the Confederate movement had been notorious in the North, and were too great to be overlooked by the Federal authorities. As the town grew in importance, the necessity to capture it with a Federal force increased. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman first made an effort to reach it, but after advancing as far as Meridian, within one hundred and seven miles (11 km), retreated to the Mississippi River; Gen. Benjamin Grierson, with a cavalry force from Memphis, was intercepted and returned; Gen. Rousseau made a dash in the direction of Selma, but was misled by his guides and struck the railroad forty miles east of Montgomery.

Selma during the Civil War
Importance of Selma to the Confederacy
During the Civil War, Selma was one of the South’s main military manufacturing centers, producing tons of supplies and munitions, and turning out Confederate warships such as the Ironclad warship Tennessee. This strategic concentration of manufacturing capabilities resulted in the Battle of Selma. Union General James H. Wilson’s troops destroyed Selma’s army arsenal and factories, and much of the city, in a fiery, bloody siege. Because of its central location, production facilities and rail connections, the advantages of Selma as a site for production of cartridges, saltpeter, powder, shot and shell, rifles, cannon and steam rams soon became apparent to the Confederacy. By 1863, just about every type of war materiel was manufactured within the limits of Selma,

Battle of Selma
On March 30, 1865, Wilson detached Gen. John T. Croxton’s Brigade to destroy all Confederate property at Tuscaloosa, Alabama. After capturing a Confederate courier who carried dispatches from Forrest describing the strengths and dispositions of his scattered forces, Wilson also sent a brigade to destroy the bridge across the Cahaba River at Centreville. This action effectively cut off most of Forrest’s reinforcements.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Then began a running fight that did not end until after the fall of Selma. On the afternoon of April 1, after skirmishing all morning, Wilson’s advanced guard ran into Forrest’s line of battle at Ebenezer Church, where the Randolph Road intersected the main Selma road. Here Forrest had hoped to bring his entire force to bear on Wilson. However delays caused by flooding plus earlier contact with the enemy enabled Forrest to muster less than 2,000 men, a large number of whom were not veterans but militia consisting of old men and young boys. The outnumbered and outgunned Confederates fought bravely for more than an hour as more Union cavalry and artillery deployed on the field. Forrest himself was wounded by a saber-wielding Union Captain whom he killed with his revolver. Finally, a Union cavalry charge with carbines blazing broke the Confederate militia causing Forrest to be flanked on his right. He was forced to retreat under severe pressure. Early the next morning Forrest arrived at Selma, "horse and rider covered in blood." He advised Gen. Richard Taylor, departmental commander, to leave the city. Taylor did so after giving Forrest command of the defense. Selma was protected by three miles of fortifications which ran in a semi-circle around the city. They were anchored on the north and south by the Alabama River. The works had been built two years earlier, and while neglected for the most part since, were still formidable. They were 8 to 12 feet (3.7 m) high, 15 feet (4.6 m) thick at the base, with a ditch 4 feet (1.2 m) wide and 5 feet (1.5 m) deep along the front. In front of this was a picket fence of heavy posts planted in the ground, 5 feet (1.5 m) high, and sharpened at the top. At prominent positions, earthen forts were built with artillery in position to cover the ground over which an assault would have to be made. Forrest’s defenders consisted of his Tennessee escort company, McCullough’s Missouri Regiment, Crossland’s Kentucky Brigade, Roddey’s Alabama Brigade, Frank Armstrong’s Mississippi Brigade, General Daniel W. Adams’ state reserves, and the citizens of Selma who were "volunteered" to man the works. Altogether this force numbered less than 4,000, only half of who were dependable. The Selma fortifications were built to be defended by 20,000 men. Forrest’s soldiers

Selma, Alabama

Nathan B. Forrest had to stand 10 to 12 feet (3.7 m) apart in the works. Wilson’s force arrived in front of the Selma fortifications at 2 p.m. He had placed Gen. Eli Long’s Division across the Summerfield Road with the Chicago Board of Trade Battery in support. He had Gen. Emory Upton’s Division placed across the Range Line Road with Battery I, 4th US Artillery in support. Altogether Wilson had 9,000 troops available for the assault. The Federal commander’s plan was for Upton to send in a 300 man detachment after dark to cross the swamp on the Confederate right; enter the works, and begin a flanking movement toward the center moving along the line of fortifications. Then a single gun from Upton’s artillery would signal the attack by the entire Federal Corps. At 5 p.m., however, Gen. Armisted Long’s ammunition train in the rear was attacked by advance elements of Forrest’s scattered


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
forces coming toward Selma. Both Long and Upton had positioned significant numbers of troops in their rear for just such an event. However, Long decided to commence his assault against the Selma fortifications to neutralize the enemy attack in his rear. Long’s troops attacked in a single rank in three main lines, dismounted with Spencers carbines blazing, supported by their own artillery fire. The Confederates replied with heavy small arms and artillery fire of their own. The Southern artillery, in one of the many ironies of the Civil War, only had solid shot on hand, while just a short distance away was an arsenal which produced tons of canister, a highly effective anti-personnel ammunition. The Federals suffered many casualties (including General Long himself) but not enough to break up the attack. Once the Yankees reached the works, there was vicious hand-to-hand fighting. Many soldiers were struck down with clubbed muskets. But the Yankees kept pouring into the works. In less than 30 minutes, Long’s men had captured the works protecting the Summerfield Road. Meanwhile, General Upton, observing Long’s success, ordered his division forward. The story was much the same for his men as on Long’s front. Soon, U.S. flags could be seen waving over the works from Range Line Road to Summerfield Road. After the outer works fell, General Wilson himself led the 4th U.S. Cavalry Regiment in a mounted charge down the Range Line Road toward the unfinished inner line of works. The retreating Confederate forces, upon reaching the inner works, all allied and poured a devastating fire into the charging Yankee column. This broke up the charge and sent General Wilson sprawling to the ground when his favorite horse was wounded. He quickly remounted his stricken mount and ordered a dismounted assault by several regiments. Mixed units of Confederate troops had also occupied the Selma railroad depot and the adjoining banks of the railroad bed to make a stand next to the Plantersville Road (present day Broad Street). The fighting there was heavy, but by 7 p.m. the superior numbers of Union troops had managed to flank the Southern positions causing them to abandon the depot as well as the inner line of works.

Selma, Alabama
In the darkness, the Yankees rounded up hundreds of prisoners, but hundreds more escaped down the Burnsville Road, including Generals Forrest, Armstrong, and Roddey. To the west, many Confederate soldiers fought the pursuing Yankees all the way down to the eastern side of Valley Creek. They escaped in the darkness by swimming across the Alabama River near the mouth of Valley Creek (where the present day Battle of Selma Reenactment is held.) The Yankees looted the city that night while many businesses and private residences were burned. They spent the next week destroying the arsenal and naval foundry. Then they left Selma heading to Montgomery and then Columbus and Macon, Georgia, and the end of the war.

Civil rights movement
During the Civil Rights Movement in the early and mid-1960s, Selma was a focal point for desegregation and voting rights campaigns. Before the Freedom Movement, all public facilities were strictly segregated. Blacks who attempted to eat at "white-only" lunch counters or sit in the downstairs "white" section of the movie theater were beaten and arrested. More than half of the city’s residents were black, but only one percent were registered to vote.[4] Blacks were prevented from registering to vote by economic retaliation organized by the White Citizens’ Council, Ku Klux Klan violence, police repression, and the Literacy test. To discourage voter registration, the registration board only opened doors for registration two days a month, arrived late, and took long lunches.[5] In early 1963, Bernard Lafayette and Colia Lafayette of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) began organizing in Selma alongside local civil rights leaders Sam, Amelia, and Bruce Boynton, Rev. L.L. Anderson of Tabernacle Baptist Church, J.L. Chestnut (Selma’s first Black attorney), SCLC Citizenship School teacher Marie Foster, public school teacher Marie Moore, and others active with the Dallas County Voters League (DCVL).[6] Against fierce opposition from Dallas County Sheriff Jim Clark and his volunteer posse, voter registration and desegregation efforts continued and expanded during 1963 and the first part of 1964. Defying intimidation, economic retaliation, arrests, firings,


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Selma, Alabama

and beatings, an ever increasing number of Dallas County blacks attempted to register to vote, but few were able to do so.[7] In the summer of 1964, a sweeping injunction issued by local Judge James Hare barred any gathering of 3 or more people under sponsorship of SNCC, SCLC, or DCVL, or with the involvement of 41 named civil rights leaders. This injunction temporarily halted civil rights activity until Dr. King defied it by speaking at Brown Chapel on January 2 1965.[8] Commencing in January, 1965, SCLC and SNCC initiated a revived Voting Rights Campaign designed to focus national attention on the systematic denial of black voting rights in Alabama, and particularly Selma. After numerous attempts by blacks to register, over 3,000 arrests, police violence, and economic retaliation, the campaign culminated in the Selma to Montgomery marches--initiated and organized by SCLC’s Director of Direct Action, James Bevel--which represented the political and emotional peak of the modern civil rights movement. On March 7, 1965, known as "Bloody Sunday", approximately 600 civil rights marchers departed Selma on U.S. Highway 80, heading east. They reached the Edmund Pettus Bridge, only six blocks away, before being met by state troopers and local sheriff’s deputies, who attacked them, using tear gas and billy clubs, and drove them back to Selma. Two days after the march, on March 9, 1965, Martin Luther King, Jr. led a "symbolic" march to the bridge. He and other civil rights leaders attempted to get court protection of a third, larger-scale march from Selma to Montgomery, the site of the state capital. Frank Minis Johnson, Jr., the Federal District Court Judge for the area, decided in favor of the demonstrators, saying: The law is clear that the right to petition one’s government for the

redress of grievances may be exercised in large groups...and these rights may be exercised by marching, even along public highways. —Frank Johnson On March 21, 1965, a Sunday, approximately 3,200 marchers departed for Montgomery. They walked 12 miles per day, and slept in nearby fields. By the time they reached the capitol, four days later on March 25, their strength had swelled to around 25,000 people.[9]

Notable residents and natives Tourism and museums
Selma boasts the state’s largest historic district, over 1,250 structures. Excellent places to find the rich history of the city are Sturdivant Hall Museum, National Voting Rights Museum, Historic Water Avenue, Martin Luther King Jr. Street Historic Walking Tour, Old Depot Museum, Old Town Historic District, Vaughan-Smitherman Museum, Old Live Oak Cemetery and the Heritage Village. The arts and museums of the city include the Mira’s Avon Fan Club House, Performing Arts Centre, and the Selma Art Guild Gallery. Some of the local attractions are the Paul M. Grist State Park, Old Cahawba Archaeological Park, and the Edmund Windwon Pettus Bridge.

Selma City Schools operates area public schools. Selma High School is the district’s sole high school. The Selma-Dallas County Public Library is in Selma.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Selma, Alabama

In popular culture
• Selma, Alabama, is referred to in the final verse of Barry McGuire’s 1965 hit song "Eve of Destruction", written by P.F. Sloan, a derivative of the original "Eve of Destruction" written and sung by The Turtles. • Selma is referenced in the They Might Be Giants song "Purple Toupee" with the line "I heard about some lady named Selma and some blacks." The song is a distorted look at American history in the 1960s as remembered by the singer. • Folk-punk band This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb has a song titled "Selma", about the Selma to Montgomery civil rights marches. • Selma was featured in the Disney television movie Selma, Lord, Selma for its historical significance.[10] • Selma was the location of the filming for the 1968 film The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, adapted from the novel of the same title by Carson McCullers. The film starred Alan Arkin and Sondra Locke plus a number of local citizens were cast in the production. • "Return of the Body Snatchers" was partially filmed at Craig Field, the former Air Force base located at the edge of the city.

Institutions of higher education
• Concordia College, Selma website • Wallace Community College Selma website • Daniel Payne College (defunct)

[1] "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. www/gazetteer/gazette.html. Retrieved on 2008-01-31. [2] "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved on 2008-01-31. [3] UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ALABAMA : urban population [4] [U.S. Civil Rights Commission report], 1961 [5] [Eyes on the Prize documentary film] ~ Blackside [6] Selma — Cracking the Wall of Fear ~ Civil Rights Movement Veterans [7] Freedom Day in Selma ~ Civil Rights Movement Veterans [8] The Selma Injunction ~ Civil Rights Movement Veterans [9] Selma & the March to Montgomery ~ Civil Rights Movement Veterans [10] "Selma, Lord, Selma".

City government
• George Patrick Evans • City Councilmembers • Dr. Geraldine Allen • Councilman Cecil Williamson • Councilman Susan Keith • Councilwoman Monica Newton • Councilwoman Angela Benjamin • Councilman Samuel Randolph • Councilman Bennie Tucker • Councilwoman Bennie Ruth Crenshaw • Councilman Corey Bowie

External links
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • The Official Website of Selma, Alabama Chamber of Commerce Selma-Dallas County Public Library National Voting Right Museum National Historic Trail Dallas County School District Morgan Academy Cedar Park Elementary Sturdivant Hall Craig Field Airport MOOSE Lodge 1737 Selma Times-Journal William Rufus DeVane King Historic Picture Gallery Economic Development Authority

Major employers
• • • • • International Paper Bush Hog Meadowcraft Rayco Industrial Peerless Pump Company (LaBour)


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
• Tullos, Allen. "Selma Bridge: Always Under Construction," Southern Spaces July 28, 2008. • Institute of Southern Jewish Life, History of Selma

Selma, Alabama
• Selma, Alabama is at coordinates 32°24′59″N 87°01′29″W / 32.416416°N 87.024733°W / 32.416416; -87.024733 (Selma, Alabama)Coordinates: 32°24′59″N 87°01′29″W / 32.416416°N 87.024733°W / 32.416416; -87.024733 (Selma, Alabama)

Retrieved from ",_Alabama" Categories: Cities in Alabama, Dallas County, Alabama, Micropolitan areas of Alabama, County seats in Alabama, Selma, Alabama, United States communities with African American majority populations This page was last modified on 24 May 2009, at 09:39 (UTC). All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. (See Copyrights for details.) Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a U.S. registered 501(c)(3) taxdeductible nonprofit charity. Privacy policy About Wikipedia Disclaimers


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