The killing of Jimmie Lee Jackson (December 16, 1938 – February 26, 1965) happened behind the Zion Methodist Church in Marion, Alabama on February 18, 1965.
He didn’t die from the Alabama State Trooper’s gun shot wound to the stomach right away, but 8 days later, on February 26th, 28 miles away in Selma, Alabama. According to Sister Michael Anne, an administrator at Good Samaritan Hospital in Selma, Alabama, the powder burns on his clothes was evidence Jimmie Lee was shot twice at close range.
At only 26 years old, Jimmie Lee was a Deacon of his church (St. James Baptist Church, in Marion, Alabama) and involved in the civil rights movement. On the night of February 18, 1965, Alabama State Troopers responded to the protesters with force. The protest was for the support of a fellow SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference) member, James Orange.
Orange (October 29, 1942 – February 16, 2008) was arrested and charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor by having young people help in his voter registration drives. The protests by Jackson and others were brought on by the fear that Orange would be taken from the Perry County jail and lynched. The attack by law enforcement was aided by the city having the street lights turned off. To facilitate the police action under the cover of darkness. Jackson and others were chased to a local cafe. Where Jimmie Lee’s mother and his 82 year old grandfather were beaten by troopers.
Among the beaten were reporters. Two from UPI (United Press International) and an NBC News correspondent, Richard Valeriani, who was hospitalized from his wounds.
Jimmie Lee was shot and beaten behind the Zion Methodist Church then taken to Perry County hospital. Jackson was transferred to Good Samaritan Hospital in Selma where he died of his wounds eight days later on February 26. Many civil rights leaders visited Jimmie Lee in the hospital. Jackson’s funeral was held on March 3rd. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke at the funeral condemning the actions of the State Troopers.
Voting rights and registering blacks to vote was fought by white elected officials and aided by law enforcement. Jackson’s death inspired civil rights leaders to hold the “Selma to Montgomery March”. The march, more than 50 miles east on highway 80, to the Alabama state capitol was designed to bring attention to voting rights issues. When the marchers arrived at the Edmund Pettus Bridge, on the edge of Selma’s city limits, to cross the Alabama river, they were met with violence. The Alabama State Troopers were going to use any means to stop the march. That day March 7, 1965, is known as “Bloody Sunday”.
The killer of Jimmie Lee Jackson was believed to be an Alabama State Trooper named Fowler. A grand jury was en-paneled in September of 1965, to charge the trooper, but no indictment was made.
On March 10, 2007, 73 year old James Bonard Fowler surrendered to authorities. Fowler stated he shot Jimmie Lee Jackson in self defense and was only following orders. In November 2010, Fowler pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter and was sentenced to six months in jail, making Fowler the first law enforcement officer to serve time for a civil rights slaying. Fowler was released from custody in July 2011.
Black Firsts Quiz - Part 1
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10 Questions Regarding the First Accomplishments of Black Americans
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Question 1 of 10
What was the first newspaper owned and operated by African-Americans?Correct
Freedom Journal; the first African-American owned and operated newspaper published in the United States. It was based in New York City. Founded on this day (March 16, 1827; the first issue).
Question 2 of 10
What was the first college owned and operated by African-Americans?Correct
Founded in 1856, Wilberforce can trace its orgins to a period before the Civil War. Wilberforce University is a private, coed liberal arts historically black university (HBCU) located in Wilberforce, Ohio. The University is named to honor the the abolitionist, William Wilberforce. He was a leader in the movement to stop the slave trade. Wilberforce worked for 26 years to get the Slave Act of 1807 passed in England.Incorrect
Question 3 of 10
Who was the first African-American to vote in an election in the United States?Correct
Due to the passage of the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (1870 ), Thomas Peterson of New Jersey cast a vote.Incorrect
Question 4 of 10
Who was the first African-American commissioned officer of the United States Military?Correct
Henry Ossian Flipper (March 21, 1856 – May 3, 1940); Flipper was the first African-American to graduate from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.Incorrect
Question 5 of 10
The First African-American to earn a doctorate degree from Harvard University.Correct
Question 6 of 10
First African-American to be invited to dine at the White House?Correct
Booker T. Washington, “Up From Slavery”Incorrect
Question 7 of 10
Who was the First African-American heavyweight boxing champion?Correct
Jack Johnson, the first African American and first Texan to win the heavyweight boxing championship of the world, was born the second of six children to Henry and Tiny Johnson in Galveston on March 31, 1878…read moreIncorrect
Question 8 of 10
Who was the first African-American to win an Olympic Gold Medal?Correct
John Baxter Taylor, Jr. competed at the 1908 summer Olympics in London. He ran the third leg in the men’s 1600 meter relay.Incorrect
Question 9 of 10
Who was the firs African-American woman millionaire?Correct
Question 10 of 10
Who was the first African-American to be appointed a justice to the United States Supreme court?Correct
On June 13, 1967, President Johnson nominated Marshall to the Supreme Court. In a 69-11 vote on August 30, 1967, Marshall became the 96th justice and first African-American of the United States Supreme Court…read moreIncorrect
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