Congress clears bill to award gold medal to Selma marchers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is sending President Barack Obama a bill to award the Congressional Gold Medal to those who participated in the historic Selma civil rights protest 50 years ago, enduring police violence as they peacefully marched for the right to vote.

The Senate approved the measure by voice vote Monday night.

The measure honors the mostly black “foot soldiers” who tried to march from Selma to Montgomery to demand voting rights in March 1965. Alabama police attacked several hundred marchers as they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge near Selma.

The violence shocked many Americans, spurred larger marches and protests for civil rights and led to passage of the Voting Rights Act.

Obama will travel to Selma on Saturday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the march.

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