The White House is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act by earmarking $50 million to restore key civil rights areas around the nation. The president’s budget includes money for the national historical trail from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, which commemorates in part the “Bloody Sunday” attack by police on civil rights demonstrators. Their march was portrayed in the Oscar-nominated film “Selma.” The attack helped boost the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which banned the use of literacy tests, added federal oversight for minority voters and allowed federal prosecutors to investigate the use of poll taxes in state and local elections.
The White House said part of the money for the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail would be for museum collections, oral histories and online access to collections. Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Ala., said she was pleased Obama’s budget “includes a commitment to preserve a critical part of our history.”
Also in the request is money for improvements at the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site in Arkansas and the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta.