March 7: Civil rights marchers attacked by state troops; Seattle’s first telephone exchange

March 7: Civil rights marchers attacked by state troops;  Seattle’s first telephone exchange
March 7: Civil rights marchers attacked by state troops;  Seattle’s first telephone exchange


Selma March – 1965

This date marks the first of three marches that cumulatively became central to the Civil Rights Movement and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This firstthe attempted march from Selma, Alabama to the capital city of Birmingham is arguably the most famous of the three. When the marchers, led among others by future Congressman John Lewis (then 24), attempted to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge, they were driven back by Alabama State Troopers and vigilante ‘possums’ on foot and on horseback, using clubs and tears. gas. Many marchers were injured; John Lewis suffered a fractured skull.

That night, in a rather bitter juxtaposition of events, the ABC television network interrupted its programming to report on the march. And I say “bitterly” because the program that was canceled was the first televised showing of the 1961 film “Judgement At Nuremberg,” a blockbuster about the Nazi war crimes trials. This televised premiere was a big deal, as approximately 50 million Americans watched the report on the bloody rout in Selma. One minute viewers watched a story about people being tried for atrocities in Europe during World War II; next they looked at atrocities that have happened that day, right here in America.

Here’s a piece I did for the music website NPR a few years ago. It is a collection of primarily jazz arrangements of songs that reflect the spirit of that era of The Movement.

Tina Turner record ‘River Deep, Mountain High’ – 1966

I’m bringing this event into today’s spotlight just so I have an excuse to share the song. It’s a powerful collaboration between Tina Turner and producer Phil Spector. Talk about “refreshing”…

The first telephone exchange arrives in Seattle – 1883

Sometime before 1883, a guy with the last name Melse came up to Seattle from California. (This was back in the good old days when you could still come to Seattle from “out of state” and not be blamed for everything.) Melse had apparently decided that phones were his future.

He created The Sunset Telephone Company on 2n.d and Cherry and sought subscribers to his newfangled service—$25 for installation and $2.50 a month thereafter. He ended up with about 90 takers; mostly lawyers and pubs. And three judges. The History Link website lists all the original customers and even gives us the four most frequently called numbers – one brewery, one liquor store and two bars.

One of the four most popular numbers belonged Funk & Dickman Saloon. We can extrapolate that this high-tech innovation on Funk and Dickman also given Northwest’s first attempt at prank phone calls.

See also  The West Seattle Blog… | VIDEO: City Council Candidate Chat, with Stephen Brown

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