Jim Corridor On 1965 Historic Civil Rights March

Jim Hall

Vice president
Los Alamos Rotary Club

“We still haven’t got where we want to go,” said local guide Jim Hall when he addressed the Rotary Club of Los Alamos March 2nd via Zoom.

Hall spoke in memory of the 56th. Anniversary of the historic 1965 civil rights marches led by supporters from Selma, Ala. to Montgomery, the state capital.

Hall, whose father was a Presbyterian minister in Arlington, Texas, remarked that it was him “Involved in civil rights since childhood.” At the time, Hall was a student in Macalester College at St. Paul, Minn., There has been growing concern that a successful implementation of the 1964 Suffrage Act, which forbids discrimination based on race, skin color, religion, Gender or national origin would be at risk, because this would strengthen the right to vote for African Americans and School Separation. It was a volatile topic, especially in Southern states and especially in Alabama, where Governor George Wallace vehemently refused the act.

March 7, 1965, about 600 civil rights activists, led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. began her peaceful march from Selma to Montgomery to raise awareness of the registry African Americans vote and protest against the death of a young activist in nearby Marion. How As soon as they reached the Selma side of the Edmund Pettus Bridge, they were legally blocked Enforcement. “Hand-to-hand combat ensued” as tear gas was fired. The protesters were beaten by the state Soldiers with clubs and fled back across the bridge.

“There is no Evidence that the protesters started the confrontation, ”Hall said.

That first day of the 58 mile hike became known as “Bloody Sunday”.

Just two days later, when King tried to cross again, he led about 2,000 protesters. they were stopped by “a phalanx of police” before they even began to cross when the state Alabama had received an injunction to stop the marches. Before returning again, the Crowd knelt in prayer.

They prayed again as the Reverend James Reeb, a white Boston Unitarian minister and member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, died of his injuries after he died severely beaten by segregationists after the march. A federal judge soon overthrew the injunction against the marches, and President Johnson “mobilized the National Guard”.

The violent response to the protesters made national news and many supporters rallied.

“ON A group from my college, Macalester College, a Presbyterian institution, supported the march and tried to arrange to go to Selma to join her, ”Hall recalled. “However, it was bus companies hesitate to rent to us because of violence concerns. We finally found a bus that we can rent for five Days. We left on the 20th and arrived in Selma after more than 24 hours in the afternoon of 21. “

On March 22nd and 23rd, Hall and his college friends marched with a party of several thousand.

“It was great to go,” although they were mocked by the white crowd lining the street Route. Next to Hall marched Pete Seeger, the well-known folk singer and social activist Whose songs, if I had a hammer, where have all the flowers gone? and turn, turn, turn are Musical hallmarks of the era.

During their stay, Hall and his colleagues distributed food and stayed in an African American Church where they were warmly welcomed, he said.

In the early hours of the morning, Hall volunteered to help set up a speaker. Platform in Montgomery for those who would be on the podium later in the day. After this a stop at an African American funeral home to load plywood and coffins for the base of the Platform they went to the grounds of St. Jude’s Catholic Hospital, which had opened his 36 mornings for people waiting for the next day’s march. It was the place on this evening of the “Stars of Freedom Rally concert with musicians Pete Seeger, Harry Belafonte and Joan Baez and Leonard Bernstein.

Upon completing their assignment, Hall said they were “advised to stay overnight” because they would is too dangerous for them to be out at this time of the night. With a steady southern A drizzle set in, and Hall “turned a coffin on its side” and slept under a makeshift roof.

On March 24, a peaceful protest of more than 25,000 people marched from the hospital to the state capitol.

There, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. his speech How long, not long … in which hall believes is as moving as King’s I Have a Dream speech delivered during the speech in August 1963 March on Washington.

“He was a transformative figure,” said Hall.

Unfortunately, Hall and his colleagues missed much of the day’s events because they “had to get back to Selma to take our rented bus to Minnesota.

In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed and secured the voting rights law African American suffrage under the 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

“What did we learn from the 60s?” Hall posed. “Well, we have to try to change. I am deeply concerned about the great decline of the family. We have to make sure that families of Colors, especially single parents, are supported in every possible way in our schools Small business and through programs that meet basic needs. “

To learn more about the 1965 Selma to Montgomery Marches, visit https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/.

“I’ve been incredibly blessed, or as a friend of mine says, it’s just plain stupid Luck, ‘”said Hall.

Hall began selling door-to-door magazines at the age of seven. He continued to Become a “janitor and soda sucker” and work your way through college by working in Construction, fire fighting, janitorial services (again) and as a research assistant. He’s holding one Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Macalester College, Master’s degree in Management from the University of New Mexico and has a degree in Experimental Psychology and computer science at Harvard University and Boston University.

Over time, he became a software developer and department head at Los Alamos National Labor, US and Overseas Advisor, New State Cabinet Secretary Mexico and a small business owner. His wife, Janet, with whom he has visited more than 60 Countries said Hall has failed in retirement … twice.

Hall served on the board of directors of Los Alamos Public Schools in Los Alamos for 12 years County Council and Representative of the State of New Mexico. He always found time for Worship in the church and in many bodies and commissions.

Hall is no stranger to adventure. He made a jeep trip to and from New Mexico to the other Side of the Panama Canal in the summer of 1963 camping all the way. “He was a hotel Management trainee in Hong Kong in 1964, followed by his “first world tour” the lowest possible budget ”. He lived in Brazil and Argentina and took trains from Finland to China and has “hiked all over the world and backpacked Colorado and New Mexico”. ON Hall enjoys spending time with his wife, their four children and their families.

The Los Alamos Rotary Club:

The Los Alamos Rotary Club is a 501 (c) 3 not for profit and one of through its Club Foundation Over 34,000 clubs worldwide. Rotary, which now has 1.5 million members, was founded in 1905; The local club was founded in 1966. The priorities include promoting peace; Combating diseases, especially polio; Providing clean water, sanitation and hygiene; support Education; Saving and improving the lives of mothers and children; growing economies; and to protect the environment.

To learn more about the Los Alamos Rotary Club and its community service, contact the president Laura Gonzales at 505.699.5880 or Skip King at 505.662.8832.

Comments are closed.