Former President George W. Bush will join President Obama in Selma, Ala., on March 7 for the 50th anniversary of the voting rights marches there. Bush and his wife, Laura, will join a large, bipartisan congressional delegation for part of a three-day civil rights pilgrimage to Alabama, according to Robert Traynham, a spokesman for the Faith and Politics Institute in Washington, which is organizing the event. Obama and Bush will be on stage together to commemorate Bloody Sunday, when Alabama state troopers assaulted marchers on March 7, 1965, as they tried to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge on their way to Montgomery to protest the lack of voting rights for African Americans. The event shocked the nation and helped win passage of the Voting Rights Act just a few months later.
The Faith and Politics Institute, a bipartisan, interfaith non-profit focused on racial and political reconciliation in Congress, has organized the pilgrimage every year since 1998. In addition to Obama, it invited former presidents Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Bush and his father, George H.W. Bush, to join in this year’s 50th-anniversary events.
Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., who leads the pilgrimage, said in a recent interview that Carter and Clinton had prior commitments, but members of their families might attend.
Spurred by the Oscar-nominated movie Selma and the significance of the anniversary, a record 95 members of Congress have registered for the pilgrimage, which will pass through Birmingham, Selma, Montgomery and Marion. Several other members, including some planning to run for president themselves in 2016, are expected to join the Selma leg of the trip with Obama and Bush.
Full Article: George W. Bush to join Obama in Selma march celebration.