Fifty years ago, thousands of people faced terror to walk with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. And demand voting rights. People called it “Bloody Sunday.” On March 7, 1965, 600 people set out walking from Selma, Alabama. They were marching to demand voting rights. Back then, racist laws made it nearly impossible for African- Americans to vote in that state. The group planned to march 50 miles to Montgomery, the capital of Alabama. They made it only six blocks before police attacked them with clubs and toxic gas. Battered and bloody, the marchers turned back. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Had not been at the march. But later, on March 21, King led a new march from Selma to Montgomery. Soldiers sent by President Lyndon Johnson were there for protection. The march took four days, with marchers camping in farmers’ fields at night. Along the way, more people joined them. By March 25, the group was 25,000 strong. Then King gave an inspiring speech on the steps of the Capitol. He talked of peace and an end to prejudice. “I know you are asking today, ‘How long will it take?’ ” said King to the crowd. “How long? Not long.” The march was a key event in the civil rights movement. Less than five months later, President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This law made it illegal to deny someone the right to vote based on race. Which Came First? Below are five events from the text on page 20. Number them from 1 to 5, in the order in which they took place. (Hint: Look for signal words like “then,” “before,” and “later” to help you figure out the correct sequence of events.) On March 25, Dr. King gave a speech in Montgomery. Dr. King set off on a new march from Selma to Montgomery. President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965. A group of 600 marchers was forced to turn back after being beaten by police. During the four-day march, the group camped out in fields at night. Now use the events above to summarize the article. Use words like first, next, and then in your summary. Send your summary to firstname.lastname@example.org. Ten winners will receive a DVD/Blu-ray of the new movie Selma, based on the true story of the 1965 civil rights marches that changed America. No purchase necessary. Open to students in grades 4-12. All entries must be received by February 12, 2015. Void where prohibited. For an entry form, complete details, and official rules, go to www.scholastic.com/actionmag.
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