This Day in History: March 21st

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Martin Luther King Jr. begins marching from Selma to Montgomery, and Alcatraz Prison is closed down for good. Plus, a classic television cliffhanger had viewers asking “who shot J.R.?” find out more in today’s, “This Day in History”.

On this day in 1965, Martin Luther King Jr. began a historic march from Selma, to Alabama’s capitol city, Montgomery. The march, for African-American voting rights, had 3,200 civil rights demonstrators, marching with MLK. Twice before, Alabama state police, at Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge, turned back the marchers; this time, National Guardsmen and FBI agents were on hand to provide safe passage for the march. In August of 1965, President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act, guaranteeing African-Americans the right to vote.

On this day in 1980, J.R. Ewing, popular prime-time drama Dallas, was shot in one of TV’s most famous cliffhangers. For the next 8 months viewers were left wondering “who shot J.R?” The culprit was revealed at the beginning of the show’s third season. The shooter ended up being Kristin Shepard, J.R.’s mistress.

On this day in 1868, the first US professional women’s club, Sorosis, formed in New York City.

This year’s NCAA Tournament is still in its early stages, but this day has marked the “one shining moment” for a few teams.

  • 1959: California defeated West Virginia (71-70)
  • 1964: UCLA defeated Duke (98-83)
  • 1970: UCLA defeated Jacksonville (80-69)

On this day in 1963, Alcatraz Prison in San Francisco Bay closed down. Known as “The Rock, or “”America’s Devil Island”, the prison held more than 200 inmates, during its prime. Alcatraz is remembered for its harsh conditions and record for being inescapable. Now it’s mainly used as a popular tourist attraction.

Copyright 2014 WIAT-CBS42

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