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Viola Liuzzo

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Shelby Dulin

on 12 February 2013

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Transcript of Viola Liuzzo

Viola Gregg Liuzzo Family Background Early Childhood - The Gregg's grew up in poverty and in the midst of racial segregation, discrimination and hatred.
- Viola's family moved several times in the South. Mostly in Georgia and in Tennessee.
- Viola was aware of the racial injustices that African Americans suffered in the South, since she lived in the south half of her childhood.
- Since her family moved so much, it was hard for Viola to start and finish in the same school, so she dropped out in the 10th grade. - Viola's family moved to Ypsilanti, Michigan so that her family could get a new start and for her father to get a job at a bombing factory.

- At the age of 16, Viola moved out and left her family to marry an older man, who she was only married to for only a day. - At the age of 18, Viola moved to Detroit and became a waitress.

- She met George Argyris. They got married in 1943.

- They had two daughters, Penny (1946) and Evangeline Mary (1947).

- In 1949, Viola and George got a divorce.
Life before the Civil Rights Movement - Two years later, in 1951, Viola married a man named Anthony James Liuzzo, who was a Union Organizer for the Teamsters.
- They had three children: Tommy (1951), Anthony Jr. (1955), and Sally (1958). - At age 35, Viola trained for a career as a medical laboratory assistant at the Carnegie Institute of Detroit.

- In 1963, Viola enrolled at Wayne State University to further her education.

- She graduated with top honors and became a Medical Lab Technician. The Civil Rights Movement - Viola left Detroit and headed to the South to attend the 54-mile march from Selma to the State Capitol in Montgomery.

- On March 9, 1965, Martin Luther King led the second group of marchers but only made it to the Pettus Bridge, when they were sent back to Selma.

- State Troopers also attacked the marchers again with tear gas and billy clubs. - "Bloody Sunday" was known world wide the next day, The SCLC and Martin Luther King called on people across the country to attend a second attempt to Montgomery, on March 9th. -Viola served at first aid stations and also made shuttle runs. She drove marchers from Montgomery to their campsites with the help of Leroy Moton.
- On one of her rides back to Montgomery, a car full of white men followed Viola and Leroy for 20 miles.
- One of the Klansmen shot Viola twice in the head, instantly killing her.
- Leroy pretended to be dead. He was injured but survived.
- They were a perfect symbol for everything the south hated. - The four white men that killed Viola were Gary Rowe (34), Collie Wilkins (21), William Eaton (41) and Eugene Thomas (42). They were all a part of the KKK.

- Wilkins, Eaton and Thomas were charged by the state and were convicted for conspiracy for Viola's death.

- They were sentenced to jail for 10 years.

- Gary Rowe was not charged for the murder because he was the FBI's top informer inside the KKK, however he took part in many other violent acts.
-He was indicted for the murder of Viola Liuzzo. http://rhapsodyinbooks.wordpress.com/2009/03/07/march-7-1965-bloody-sunday-in-selma-alabama/ http://www.biography.com/people/viola-gregg-liuzzo-370152?page=2 http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAliuzzo.htm http://www25.uua.org/uuhs/duub/articles/violaliuzzo.html http://www.teamster.org/content/civil-rights-martyr-viola-liuzzo - On February 18, 1965, Jimmie Lee Jackson took part in a protest led by Reverend C. T. Vivian, in favor of African American voter registration.

- Marchers were attacked by Alabama State Troopers, and Jimmie Lee Jackson was shot from trying to protect his mother. - In response to Jimmie Lee Jackson's death, another march was organized on March 7, 1965.
-It was led by John Lewis and Hosea Williams.
- Over 500 Civil Rights marchers marched from Selma Alabama to Montgomery, to focus on the efforts to register Black voting in the South and Jimmie Lee Jackson's death.
- They only made it to the Edmund Pettus Bridge, which was only 6 blocks away from their starting point at Brown Chapel.
- The marchers refused to be sent back to Selma, so they were attacked and beaten by Alabama State Troopers with tear gas grenades and billy clubs.
- Over 50 people were hospitalized.
- This day was also known as "Bloody Sunday." - On the third attempt on March 21st, the Alabama National Guard was sent to protect the marchers by President Johnson.
- Led by Martin Luther King, the marchers, including Viola, traveled four days to Montgomery, successfully arriving on the 25th. - Arriving at the Montgomery Capital building on March 25, 1965, Martin Luther King gave a speech on the African American's right to vote.
Over 25,000 marchers attended. Life after the Civil Rights Movement Lasting Impact http://byways.org/stories/73679 Works Cited - On August 6, 1965, President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965, outlawing literacy tests and giving African Americans the right to vote. - Viola Liuzzo was willing to leave her home, husband and 5 children to help participate and risk her life for others for the Civil Rights Movement.
-She was the only white women to be shot and killed during the Civil Rights Movement.
- The deaths of Jimmie Lee Jackson, Viola Liuzzo and James Reed, and the violence that took place during the March from Selma to Montgomery brought attention to the issue of the right to vote.
- It persuaded President Johnson and congress to pass the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
- By the end of 1965, a quarter over a million new black voters were registered to vote. - Viola's father, Herber Ernest Gregg was a mine worker.

- Viola's mother, Eva Wilson Gregg got her teaching degree from the University of Pittsburgh and got a teaching job in Tennessee.

- Viola only had one younger sister named Rose Mary Gregg, she was 11 years younger than Viola. Viola was born in Pennsylvania on April 11, 1925.
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