An excerpt from Morgantown to San Francisco, a memoir I am working on. My most recent book, Damn Yankee Buttons, is available on Amazon.com
The Selma march was triggered by the Alabama state police murder of Jimmy Lee Jackson. Twenty-six-year-old Jackson had recently died in a Selma hospital of wound infection after being shot in the abdomen by a state cop.
Martin Luther King, Jr. led a subsequent march that crossed the bridge out of Selma. He invited ministers and others sympathetic to the civil rights movement to join him. 500 Unitarian-Universalist ministers answered the call. One was murdered.
My Peace Corps friend, Al Ulmer, drove one of those ministers, Unitarian-Universalist James Reeb, from Atlanta to Selma. That evening, Reeb and Clark Olsen and Orloff Miller, two other Unitarian-Universalist ministers, were attacked by white racists on a Selma sidewalk. Reeb was killed with a baseball bat to his head. An all-white, all-male Alabama jury found the three men innocent who killed Reeb.
James Reeb lived for a short time and in that time the attackers continued their terror.