It was 46 years ago today

If you look really closely at the picture of the crowd arriving in Montgomery, Alabama on March 25, 1965, you might spot a teenage me…Just kidding. Of course you can’t pick me out, but I was there.

See full NY Times article from that day.

Sometimes, I feel a bit like the old lady in Allan Gurganus’s novel Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All. Seeing the  mention of the 1965 event in today’s NY Times jumped out at me, because I was there. Or, some six-lifetimes-past version of Ellen was there. What I do remember is that we lived in a different country. All along the route from Selma to Montgomery, signs separated services and access for whites and blacks. And, for some of the black Americans I met on the march, shaking hands with a white person like me was a first…and for some of us whites, it may have been a first to shake hands with a black person. This is not to say that the US has conquered its racial issues, but we sure have come a distance from that day in Montgomergy 1965.

Oh, and I just stumbled on this video at the site today–and learned that only about 300 people were allowed on the road to Montgomery after the first day out from Selma. I did not remember this. And, yes, I looked closely at the film but couldn’t spot my teenage self.


4 Comments on “It was 46 years ago today”

  1. Fred Goss says:

    Especially in view of the story in the Times this week about mixed marriages becoming more common and more acceptable in the South, does this story seem something from another lifetime.

  2. Pete Klein says:

    So many Americans have a really short memory. They forget their history, of what things were like in the past.
    I see the same thing happening today with the attack on unions.
    Having been born and raised in Detroit, I know the history of unions and why they came into existence.
    We enjoy benefits fought for and died for by those who came before us and somehow think benefits exist without the bloodshed that made them real and eventually resulted in laws for all.

  3. Hank says:


    You said: “some six-lifetimes-past version of Ellen was there”.

    I presume we’ll hear some day what happened in the other five past lifetimes!

  4. Ellen Rocco says:

    Hmm, Hank. Maybe I’ll talk about a couple of them…the rest to be left peacefully in the past…

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