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Liuzzo, Viola

b. 1925 - d. 1965

The murder of Viola Liuzzo was among the violent events surrounding the Selma to Montgomery March that led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Liuzzo, a 39-year-old mother of five, was born into a poor white family in Pennsylvania; she grew up in Georgia and Tennessee. In 1952, she married Teamster business agent Anthony Liuzzo. She was attending Wayne State University in Detroit when she decided to join the struggle in Selma. On the night of March 25, she and Leroy Moton had been shuttling marchers back to Selma from Montgomery in her car. Four members of the Ku Klux Klan followed them and fired shots into the vehicle, killing her instantly. Dr. King joined civil rights, labor and other leaders at her funeral. He occasionally mentioned Liuzzo’s murder as a reminder that white men and women also gave their lives in the struggle for freedom.

Associated Archive Content : 10 results

An Edition of the SCLC Newsletter

This April/May 1964 SCLC newsletter highlights the recent accomplishments of the SCLC and its members. Some of the topics discussed are the 50-mile march from Selma to Montgomery, Ben Hooks' recent judicial appointment, and Dr. King being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

In A Land Where Murder is Respectable

This pamphlet, issued by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, features a map of Alabama highlighting 18 murders of African Americans and white civil rights workers.

Letter from Alversia Dunkley to MLK

Mrs. Dunkley writes Dr. King hoping to receive permission to publish her song, "Man of God," about Dr. King. She also requests contact information for the family of "Miss Viola" to receive permission to publish a poem entitled "Viola."

Letter from James R. Hoffa to MLK

Teamsters President James (Jimmy) Hoffa requests a meeting with Dr. King to discuss the boycott in Alabama and how it relates to existing contractual agreements with interstate carriers.

Letter from Unitarian Universalist Association President Dana McLean Greeley to MLK

Dana McLean Greeley asks for Dr. King's endorsement of a conference on religion and peace to be held in Washington, DC, and invites Dr. King to serve on the Executive Committee of the conference. Greeley also recounts his time spent in Selma and mentions that he will be in Montgomery soon.

MLK Address - The Association of The Bar of the City of New York

Dr. King gives an address to the Association of The Bar of the City of New York at the Hilton Hotel in New York. He praises lawyers for using their knowledge to aid the Civil Rights Movement. He states that Negro lawyers bring wisdom and a determination to win to the courtroom. Dr. King also defines an unjust law as a law that is "out of harmony with moral law of the universe."

MLK's Public Statement Regarding Court Hearings

Dr. King compares past discrimination to recent strides that have been made in the American justice system.

Newsweek: Road to Selma - Hope & Death

Newsweek issues this synopsis of the 1965 voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery. The article illustrates the details surrounding the brutal racial murder of Viola Liuzzo, delving into the federal investigation of Mrs. Liuzzo's murder and its impact on the future passage of the pending 1965 Voting Rights Act.

Questions and Answers on the Civil Rights Act of 1967

This document contains questions and answers on the proposed Civil Rights Act of 1967 regarding federal and state jury trials, equal employment, fair housing, protection against interference with constitutional rights, and extending the life of the civil rights commission.

Statement by MLK Regarding All-White Jury Trials

Dr. King approves of recent court cases where all-white juries convicted all-white defendants in murder and conspiracy cases. He calls these cases "rays of light and hope," but claims that federal legislation is needed to ensure that discriminatory practices are not involved in impaneling juries.