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The Henry Ford Acquires and will Preserve Selma, Alabama Home Where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Planned the Selma-to-Montgomery Marches in 1965
DEARBORN, Mich., April 17, 2023
DEARBORN, Mich., April 17, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- The Henry Ford, a 250-acre cultural destination and National Historic Landmark in Dearborn, Michigan acquired and will preserve the Selma, Alabama home of Dr. and Mrs. Sullivan Jackson. The historic home, known as the Jackson House, served as a safe haven where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others worked, collaborated, strategized and planned the Selma-to-Montgomery marches of 1965. The marches served as protestsagainst the systemic racist policies within the south and raised awareness of the struggles black voters faced.
The Henry Ford Acquires Home Where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Planned the Selma-to-Montgomery Marches in 1965
It was in the Jackson House on March 15, 1965, when Dr. King watched President Johnson's famous "We Shall Overcome" speech. The speech announced the bill to be sent to Congress, guaranteeing African Americans the right to vote, which would later become the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The house and its entire contents are remarkably preserved: the dining room with a maple table around which civil rights leaders, members of Congress and two Nobel Peace Prize winners broke bread and shared dreams; the upholstered armchair where Dr. King sat as he watched President Johnson's historic address; and the kitchen where Mrs. Jackson tirelessly cooked for her frequent guests.
Jawana Jackson, the only child of Dr. and Mrs. Jackson, andthe sole owner of the Jackson House, has dedicated her life to protecting and preserving the Jackson House and elevating the history it holds. With that in mind, Jackson contacted The Henry Ford and requested the Jackson House be permanently relocated,installed, interpreted and presentedin The Henry Ford's outdoor museum, Greenfield Village. After more than a year of due diligence, The Henry Ford and Ms. Jawana Jackson reached an agreement for acquisition.
"The promise I made to my parents at their deaths to preserve our rich family legacy is now fulfilled," Jackson said. "I am honored to partner with The Henry Ford to enhance the visitor experience with the addition of the Jackson House at Greenfield Village. This historic private residence will now be included among other nationally significant homes and artifacts which represent America's commitment to justice, peace and freedom for all."
Greenfield Village is home to more than 80 historic structures that tell stories of great change. They include the courthouse where Abraham Lincoln practiced law, the laboratory where Thomas Edison perfected the light bulb and the home and workshop where Orville and Wilbur Wright invented their first airplane. The Henry Ford's overall collection is comprised of 26 million artifacts including the chair in which Abraham Lincoln was assassinated and the actual bus on which Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat.
With more than 1.5 million visitors annually, including hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren, The Henry Ford willraise the profile of the Jackson House to a national andglobal level. In addition to hosting millions of people on site, The Henry Ford can reach millions more through its extensive digital outreach and educational programming, its website and social media channels, and its media publishing resources with worldwide reach.
"Maintaining, sustaining and programming historic buildings is what we do best," said Patricia Mooradian, President and CEO of The Henry Ford. "We believe these authentic structures evoke powerful emotions and give insight into pivotal events that unfolded in American history. The Henry Ford has spent nearly 95 years captivating audiences from around the globe with stories of American innovation, ingenuity and resourcefulness. Thanks to this collaboration with Jawana Jackson, we will be able to dedicate our expertise and resources to preserving and sharing the Jackson House and its important place in American history for generations."
The Honorable James Perkins, Jr., Mayor of the City of Selma, reinforced the need to preserve this home and its story.
"I celebrate the Jackson family's contribution to the 1960s Voting Rights Movement and express appreciation to The Henry Ford for relocating this valuable asset to historic Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan," said Mayor Perkins. "My hope is that the Jackson family, The Henry Ford, the city of Selma and the nation, immensely benefit from this powerful preservation initiative."
Selma City Councilmember Jannie Thomas supports the decision.
"Jawana and I have known each other since childhood," Councilmember Thomas said. "We grew up in the same neighborhood. When Jawana confided in me about plans to move the historic Jackson House to The Henry Ford, I supported her decision to preserve her home and its place in civil rights history. As the councilperson who represents the district of the historic Jackson House, I, along with Selma City Council President Billy Young, look forward to beginning a dialogue with The Henry Ford. We look forward to this exciting new chapter for the Jackson House."
Moving the Jackson House from Selma, Alabama to Greenfield Village will be a multi-year effort for The Henry Ford. Once the contents are removed and the structure is taken apart and loaded onto trailers, it will make the 860-mile move to Dearborn, Michigan. Placing the house in Greenfield Village will require preparing a site, laying a new foundation, positioning and reassembling the house, replacing the roof, repairing floors and walls, connecting electrical and plumbing systems, installing central heating and air-conditioning, and adding fire protection and security systems.
"The Henry Ford has the expertise necessary to physically preserve the Jackson House and its artifacts and to share its powerful story," Laura Lott, President and CEO of the American Alliance of Museums, said. "In my view, the Jackson House will be in excellent hands and will receive all of the care and attention this historically significant structure deserves."
Once the home is relocated to its new permanent residence, The Henry Ford vows to create innovative programming, bringing this structure to life for in-person visitors and online learners around the world.
"It is imperative that places of historic importance marking the contributions of African Americans be restored and preserved," said Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation. "The Jackson House represents one such significant property, a structure steeped in history and culture. The Henry Ford's collaboration with Ms. Jawana Jackson represents a critical step in ensuring that this iconic American property is preserved and will be visited by millions of visitors."
Gretchen Sullivan Sorin, Ph.D., is a renowned historian who serves as a Director and Distinguished Professor at Cooperstown Graduate Program/SUNY Oneonta and author of Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights. She says the Jackson House is an important dwelling that brings a new dimension to our understanding of the role that African Americans played in defeating Jim Crow by defying segregated buses and train cars with their automobiles and sharing their homes when hotels and restaurants kept black people out.
"Not every historic building can be preserved in its original location and for this reason, so many important places are forever lost. Not so for the Jackson House that will find new life and meaning at The Henry Ford's Greenfield Village," Sorin said. "The Jacksons are unsung heroes. Their generosity and courage show us how we, as ordinary Americans, can stand up against injustice and for the beloved community. The Henry Ford has taken a leadership role in broadening the history that museums can tell and enabling us all to envision a shared legacy that makes us stronger as a democratic nation of many diverse people."
Neil Barclay, President of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, agreed.
"The Henry Ford has been an exceptional steward of artifacts that tell our nation's stories of innovation, ingenuity and resourcefulness," Barclay said. "Its unparalleled collections documenting the American experience preserve our shared history and inspire each of us to help create a better future. With its recent acquisition of the Jackson House, The Henry Ford will be able to present the story of its prominent role in the early days of the modern American civil rights movement and the leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to millions of visitors."
For more information and future announcements regarding this initiative, please visit thf.org/jacksonhouse.
About The Henry Ford
Located in Dearborn, Michigan, The Henry Ford is a globally-recognized destination that fosters inspiration and learning from hands-on encounters with artifacts representing the most comprehensive collection anywhere focusing on innovation, ingenuity, and resourcefulness. Its unique venues include Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, Greenfield Village, Ford Rouge Factory Tour, Benson Ford Research Center, the Giant Screen Experience and Henry Ford Academy, a public charter high school. The Henry Ford inspires every individual to unlock their potential and help shape a better future through a variety of channels including its online presence thehenryford.org, its Emmy®-winning national television series, The Henry Ford's Innovation Nation, and The Henry Ford's Invention Convention Worldwide, a global K-12 invention education curricular program that teaches students problem-solving, entrepreneurship, and creativity skills. With the support of a growing community of affiliates and supporters, The Henry Ford is the home of Raytheon Technologies Invention Convention U.S. Nationals, Invention Convention Globals and Invention Convention Michigan.
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Fifty years ago, on March 7, 1965, hundreds of people gathered in Selma, Alabama to march to the capital city of Montgomery. They marched to ensure that African Americans could exercise their constitutional right to vote — even in the face of a segregationist system that wanted to make it impossible.Who marched with Martin Luther King in Selma? ›
Ralph Bunche, who participated in the Selma to Montgomery March with Martin Luther King Jr., won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1950 for his successful negotiation of an Arab-Israeli truce in Palestine a year earlier.What did Martin Luther King Jr do in Selma in 1965? ›
In 1965, King and his Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) decided to make the small town of Selma the focus of their drive to win voting rights for African Americans in the South.What happened on March 21 1965? ›
MARCH 21, 1965
Protesters, led by Martin Luther King Jr., began a weeklong march from Selma to the state Capitol at Montgomery to bring attention to Alabama officials preventing Black Americans from registering to vote.
On March 7, 1965, state and local police used billy clubs, whips, and tear gas to attack hundreds of civil rights activists beginning a march from Selma, Alabama, to the state capitol in Montgomery.What was the purpose of the 1965 march on Selma Alabama quizlet? ›
What was the purpose of the march? To protest against the voting rights.What was the result of the Selma march? ›
The three marches at Selma were a pivotal turning point in the civil rights movement. Because of the powerful impact of the marches in Selma, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was presented to Congress on March 17, 1965. President Johnson signed the bill into law on August 6, 1965.Why did MLK turn around in Selma? ›
He did so as a symbolic gesture. LeRoy Collins, the governor of Florida, suggested he should first pray as he arrives on the bridge, and then turn around and lead all of the protesters back to Selma in an attempt to get a symbolic accomplishment of crossing the bridge while keeping everyone safe.Did Martin Luther King give his speech during the Selma march? ›
"How Long, Not Long" is the popular name given to the public speech delivered by Martin Luther King Jr. on the steps of the State Capitol in Montgomery, Alabama. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered this speech after the completion of the Selma to Montgomery March on March 25, 1965.What did President Johnson want Martin Luther King to help with in Selma? ›
They would push the president to pursue voting rights much sooner than he imagined. Local activists had contacted King and the SCLC to support a voting rights campaign in Selma, Alabama.
The public was outraged. President Johnson called the death “an American tragedy.” Both President Johnson and Governor Wallace wanted to put an end to the violence, but their opposing political views and opinions on civil rights made it unlikely they could easily compromise on a solution for problems in Selma.How Selma's Bloody Sunday became a turning point in the civil rights movement? ›
The events in Selma galvanized public opinion and mobilized Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act, which President Johnson signed into law on August 6, 1965. Today, the bridge that served as the backdrop to “Bloody Sunday” still bears the name of a white supremacist, but now it is a symbolic civil rights landmark.Was the Selma march successful? ›
Their march from Selma to Montgomery, the capital, was a success, leading to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. African Americans first earned their right to vote in 1870, just five years after the United States ended the Civil War.When did the Selma march end? › Why is March 21 important? ›
March 21st is the 80th day in the Gregorian calendar; it also marks the anniversary of third—and finally successful—civil rights march led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the founding of Twitter.How many people died in Selma Alabama? ›
SELMA, Ala. — Rescuers raced Friday to find any survivors trapped in debris after tornadoes barreled across parts of the South in a system that killed at least nine people in Alabama and Georgia and inflicted heavy damage on Selma, a flashpoint of the civil rights movement.How many people died on Bloody Sunday? ›
In all, 26 people were shot by the paratroopers; thirteen died on the day and another died of his injuries four months later.What is Selma Alabama known for? ›
The city is best known for the 1960s Selma Voting Rights Movement and the Selma to Montgomery marches, beginning with “Bloody Sunday” in March 1965 and ending with 25,000 people entering Montgomery at the end of the last march to press for voting rights.What was the significance of the Selma march Bloody Sunday? ›
The persistence of the protesters and the public support associated with the marches from Selma to Montgomery caused the Federal Government to take action. Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and President Lyndon B. Johnson signed it into law on August 6th.Who wrote the Voting Rights Act of 1965? ›
Senate. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was introduced in Congress on March 17, 1965, as S. 1564, and it was jointly sponsored by Senate majority leader Mike Mansfield (D-MT) and Senate minority leader Everett Dirksen (R-IL), both of whom had worked with Attorney General Katzenbach to draft the bill's language.
The bill outlawed poll taxes, literacy tests, and other practices that had effectively prevented southern blacks from voting.What major events happened in 1965? ›
- August 6 – U.S. President Lyndon B. ...
- August 9 – An explosion at an Arkansas missile plant kills 53.
- August 11 – The Watts Riots begin in Los Angeles, California.
- August 13 – The rock group Jefferson Airplane debuts at the Matrix in San Francisco, California and begins to appear there regularly.
What did congress pass in August following the Selma March? the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which gave the right to vote to all African Americans.How many people were injured in the Selma march? ›
Another detachment of troopers fired tear gas while mounted troopers charged the marchers. In all, 17 marchers were hospitalized and 50 treated for lesser injuries. A national uproar occurred when footage of the melee was broadcast on tens of millions of television sets across the country.How did Martin Luther King help the Montgomery bus boycott? ›
Led by Martin Luther King, Jr., then a Montgomery minister, African Americans organized a peaceful boycott of the city's public buses in December 1955 after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white man; a year later segregation on buses was prohibited by court order.What was the civil rights movement in Alabama? ›
Alabama was the site of many key events in the American civil rights movement. Rosa Parks's stand against segregation on a public bus led to the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott, and the violence targeted toward the Freedom Riders of the early 1960s drew the nation's attention to racial hatred in Alabama.What was MLK last speech called? ›
I'm not fearing any man." Martin Luther King Jr. delivered this sermon on the night of April 3, 1968, at the Bishop Charles Mason Temple in Memphis, Tennessee, as a storm raged outside. Titled “I've Been to the Mountaintop,” it was his last speech.Why did MLK choose Selma to march for voting rights? ›
SCLC had chosen to focus its efforts in Selma because they anticipated that the notorious brutality of local law enforcement under Sheriff Jim Clark would attract national attention and pressure President Lyndon B. Johnson and Congress to enact new national voting rights legislation.What speech did MLK give in Selma? ›
On March 25, 1965, King delivered his “How long? Not long” speech to a crowd of 25,000 people at the end of the Selma-to-Montgomery March in Montgomery, Alabama.During what civil rights march did MLK give his famous I Have a Dream speech? ›
Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered this iconic 'I Have a Dream' speech at the March on Washington on August 28, 1963. See entire text of King's speech below.
King did not to testify because he was leading the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, against the violent denial of African American voting in the South. In a televised address, Johnson expressed support for the marchers and called for support for the new voting rights bill being introduced to Congress.How was Martin Luther King Jr involved in the civil rights movement? ›
In 1963, King and the SCLC worked with NAACP and other civil rights groups to organize the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which attracted 250,000 people to rally for the civil and economic rights of Black Americans in the nation's capital. There, King delivered his majestic 17-minute "I Have a Dream" speech.Who was the president when Martin Luther King was shot? ›
An ambulance rushed King to St. Joseph's Hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead at 7:05 P.M. President Lyndon B. Johnson called for a national day of mourning to be observed on 7 April.What did the Selma march encourage President Johnson to do? ›
On March 15, 1965, President Johnson, encouraged by the events in Selma, demanded that Congress pass voting rights legislation.Why did President Lyndon Johnson call out the Alabama National Guard in March 1965 quizlet? ›
Why did President Lyndon Johnson call out the Alabama National Guard in March 1965? Police in Selma, Alabama, had beaten back a march led by Martin Luther King Jr. so brutally that Johnson insisted on protection by the National Guard.What day was Bloody Sunday? ›
On March 7, 1965, in Selma, Alabama, a 600-person civil rights demonstration ends in violence when marchers are attacked and beaten by white state troopers and sheriff's deputies. The day's events became known as "Bloody Sunday."What happened in Selma Alabama? ›
Fifty years ago, on March 7, 1965, hundreds of people gathered in Selma, Alabama to march to the capital city of Montgomery. They marched to ensure that African Americans could exercise their constitutional right to vote — even in the face of a segregationist system that wanted to make it impossible.Why were Americans shocked by television footage of the march in Selma? ›
The violence and tear gas used by the Alabama State troopers and mob of citizens was reported in newspapers and broadcast on national television for all to see. Citizens from around the country were largely shocked by the way the marchers were abused. Many wrote to the Government to express their outrage.How many died in the march to Selma? ›
Answer and Explanation: Despite being assaulted the entire way from Selma to Montgomery, only one person died during the Selma March (March 1965). James Reeb, a Unitarian minister from Boston, was beaten and murdered on the night of March 9, 1965.What happened as a result of Selma? ›
The three marches at Selma were a pivotal turning point in the civil rights movement. Because of the powerful impact of the marches in Selma, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was presented to Congress on March 17, 1965. President Johnson signed the bill into law on August 6, 1965.What was the outcome of the Battle of Selma? ›
The Battle of Selma decimated the city and was one of many Confederate setbacks in the spring of 1865 that ultimately resulted in the Confederacy's surrender.How did Selma's Bloody Sunday become a turning point in civil rights? ›
The events in Selma galvanized public opinion and mobilized Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act, which President Johnson signed into law on August 6, 1965. Today, the bridge that served as the backdrop to “Bloody Sunday” still bears the name of a white supremacist, but now it is a symbolic civil rights landmark.Who was involved in Bloody Sunday in Selma Alabama? ›
The demonstrators—led by civil rights activists John Lewis of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and Hosea Williams of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference—were commemorating the recent fatal shooting of Jimmie Lee Jackson, a 26-year-old church deacon, by state trooper James Bonard Fowler.Why is the Bloody Sunday important? ›
Bloody Sunday precipitated an upsurge in support for the Irish Republican Army (IRA), which advocated violence against the United Kingdom to force it to withdraw from Northern Ireland. The incident remained a source of controversy for decades, with competing accounts of the events.