Twelve Impressions Of Alabama

Twelve Impressions Of Alabama

This giant mural depicts the march from Selma to Montgomery in March, 1965 (read more about the march in the descriptions below). The photographer appears in this picture as well, a rarity.

Monroeville-Courthouse-Van-Wersch-Writes
I was greeted warmly by staff of The Old Courthouse Museum in the small sleepy town of Monroeville. The museum attracts visitors from all over the world who want to know more about Monroeville natives Truman Capote and Harper Lee, author of the 1960 novel “To Kill a Mockingbird”.
Monroeville-Courthouse-Courtroom-Van-Wersch-Writes
I went up to this upper balcony at the Old Courthouse Museum to take a picture of the courtroom that was the model for Harper Lee’s fictional courtroom settings in “To Kill a Mockingbird”. Throughout her childhood, Harper Lee often sat in the balcony as she watched her father practice law in this very room.
Selma-Edmund-Pettus-Bridge-Van-Wersch-Writes
At this bridge in Selma, voting rights marchers were violently confronted by law enforcement personnel on March 7, 1965. The day became known as “Bloody Sunday”. I only made a short stop in Selma on my way to Montgomery. I did pay a short visit to the Interpretive Center that is run by the National Park Service.
Selma-Interpretive-Center-Blood-Sunday-Van-Wersch-Writes
Several images at the Interpretive Center in Selma caught my attention. Just short of the bridge, the activists found their way blocked by Alabama State troopers and local police who ordered them to turn around. When the protesters refused, the officers shot teargas and beat the protesters with billy clubs.
Selma-Interpretive-Center-March-Montgomery-Van-Wersch-Writes
This picture depicts how, two weeks after “Blood Sunday”, protesters do march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge to Montgomery. By the time they reach the state capitol on March 25, they are 25,000-strong. Less than five months later, President Lyndon Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Selma-Interpretive-Center-NEVER-pin-Van-Wersch-Writes
The story about the pin sounded surreal to me. It’s hard to grasp this all happened a mere fifty years ago. That feeling crept up on me several times while visiting civil rights museums and memorials in Alabama.
Selma-Baptist-Church-Courtyard-Van-Wersch-Writes
I had to capture this courtyard of a Southern Baptist church in Selma basking in the afternoon sunlight. The Southern Baptist Convention is the largest confederation of Baptists in the United States with millions of members.
Montgomery-Rosa-Parks-Bus-Stop-Van-Wersch-Writes
This is the spot in downtown Montgomery where Rosa Park boarded the famous bus. Later that day, I visited the Rosa Parks Museum which features a fascinating video-installation that gives you the feeling that you are with her on that bus.
Montgomery-Hank-Williams-Statue-Van-Wersch-Writes
Hank Williams, a Montgomery native, is widely considered the father of country music. He died at age 30. That evening, I visited his grave at Montgomery cemetery and, in accordance with local custom, had a little sip of whisky in honor of this southern musical hero.
Montgomery-Court-Square-Fountain-Van-Wersch-Writes
From Court Square in downtown Montgomery you have a view of the “Winter Building” (behind the giant letters). It’s been said that from this building the telegram was sent that started the Civil War (at Fort Sumter).
Montgomery-Traditional-House-Upper-Class-Van-Wersch-Writes
This is one of few examples left in Montgomery of a traditional upper class mansion. As is the case with many historical buildings in the U.S., this house did not originally stand here, but was moved to this location.

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