Martin Luther King Jr led a second march of about 2,500 people two days following the Bloody Sunday march. This was an immediate protest of the violent events that had occurred just a few days prior. Meanwhile, King and local leaders planned a larger march from Selma to the Alabama capital at Montgomery. In order for this march to be successful, the leaders needed the police to permit the march, or they needed a court order barring the police from preventing the march.
After petitioning the federal courts for protection, the court declared that the protesters had the right to participate in a protest march under the rights protected under the United States Constitution. On March 21, 1965 thousands of protestors began their march from Selma across the bridge. In contrast to the attack on Bloody Sunday, local police protected marchers from any potential violence. The march to Montgomery lasted four days and over 20,000 marchers arrived in Montgomery on March 25th. The leaders of the march had been successful in their goals and their voice was heard around the country. Within a few months, Congress approved and President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
The Edmund Pettus Bridge was named after a former Confederate general from Alabama. Pettus was also a leader of the Ku Klux Klan.