Historic Markers Across Alabama

In Honor of James Joseph Reeb 1927-1965 — “This Good Man” —

Marker ID:  
Location: intersection of Martin Luther King Street and Water Avenue, Selma, Alabama
County: Dallas
Coordinates: N 32° 24.522    W 087° 0.84
  32.4087    -87.014
Style: Mounted **
Waymark: None


Rev. James J. Reeb, an Army Veteran and Unitarian minister from Casper, Wyoming, was working in Boston when Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. appealed for clergymen of all faiths to come to Selma to protest the violence that occurred at the Edmund Pettus Bridge on March 7, 1965, "Bloody Sunday." Reeb responded by flying south for the protest march in Selma on March 9. A few hours after the march, Reeb and two fellow ministers were attacked while walking along Washington Street near the Silver Moon Café and across from the C. & C. Novelty Company. The attack left Reeb with a severe head injury, and he was rushed to a Birmingham Hospital where he died two days later, March 11. He left a wife and four children. "The life of this good man that was lost," announced President Lyndon B. Johnson, "must strengthen the determination of each of us to bring full and equal and exact justice to all of our people." The National outcry over Reeb’s death helped bring about the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

End of In Honor of James Joseph Reeb 1927-1965 — “This Good Man” —