Perry County site added to civil rights Selma to Montgomery National Historic Rail

Published: Jul. 20, 2015 at 8:24 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 27, 2015 at 11:24 PM CDT
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A close up of the marker. (Source: Kelvin Reynolds/WBRC)
A close up of the marker. (Source: Kelvin Reynolds/WBRC)
A sign marks the spot. (Source: Kelvin Reynolds/WBRC)
A sign marks the spot. (Source: Kelvin Reynolds/WBRC)

PERRY COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - Alabama's contribution to America's civil rights movement was highlighted in the movie Selma.

But there was one important moment not seen in the movie or very well-known outside of Perry County that got more recognition Monday. That change is coming thanks to historical markers unveiled.

Congresswoman Terri Sewell, National Parks Service Director Jonathan Jarvis and others unveiled a historic marker outside Zion United Methodist Church in the town of Marion.

Marion was formally added to the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail Monday. Signs on the street also pay tribute to that recognition.

"Well today we get the story correct. Today, we add Marion to the historic Selma to Montgomery trail. I think it's really important that the world knows the importance of the city Marion, Perry County to the story of voting rights," Congresswoman Terri Sewell.

The death of Jimmie Lee Jackson at the hands of an Alabama state trooper in February of 1965 during a civil rights protest sparked protesters to later march across Selma's Edmond Pettus Bridge. Troopers also attacked those protestors. It's seen as a key civil rights moment that led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act.

Ira Fairley, a distant cousin of Jackson, described her family's feelings about new historic markers.

"And when they did the movie, we didn't hear anything about Marion, Alabama. So I'm just trying to get to the history, do I can teach my grandkids and relatives all about the struggle here in Marion," Fairley said.

From here on, Marion gets a bigger role in Alabama's and America's history.

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