Congressional Gold Medal awarded to Foot Soldiers Marchers
In 1965, the Selma Foot Soldiers answered the call and peacefully marched for voting rights for African Americans. They endured violence and vicious beatings, but their persistence, passion and strong beliefs led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
On February 24, 2016, the Congressional Gold Medal was presented to the marchers who took part in the Selma to Montgomery, Alabama protests. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said, "The foot soldiers' contributions to our country was so great that they deserve the highest honor in our possession, the Congressional Gold Medal."
Dozens of the marchers and their family members were present for the ceremony. The group included Representative John Lewis (D-GA) who helped lead the marches with Reverend Frederick Douglas Reese and Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. Lewis reminded the crowd that the marchers "…weren't rich or famous. They had very little money. Some of them never learned to read or write, but they changed the nation for the better."
You can watch the full ceremony here: http://www.speaker.gov/photos-and-video [ Link changed in new Congress, content kept for historical reasons. ]