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Welcome to Selma, Alabama

Selma is located high on the banks of the Alabama River in Dallas County of which it is the county seat. The city is best known for the Battle of Selma and for the Selma to Montgomery Marches. Selma is home to the largest contiguous historic district in the State of Alabama.

Demographics

As of the last census, the population of the city was 20,756.

Queen City of the Black Belt

Selma is the gateway to Alabama's Black Belt region. It the regional retail, medical, employment and cultural center for more than 80,000 people who live in a four-county area that includes Dallas, Perry, Wilcox and Lowndes counties. Selma offers outstanding public and private schools, Selma University, Concordia College and Wallace Community College, low taxes, a safe community, job opportunities, churches, civic clubs, cultural organizations, recreational outlets, Vaughan Regional Medical Center and many other amenities. 

Civil War to Civil Rights

By the beginning of the Civil War, Selma had become a transportation center and went on to become one of the main military manufacturing centers supporting the South's war effort. Its foundries produced much-needed supplies, particularly iron and munitions, and its Navy yard constructed Confederate warships, including the ironclad CSS Tennessee, and outfitted the CSS Nashville. Selma's importance to the South made it one of the main targets of Gen. James H. Wilson's raid into Alabama late into the war. On April 2, 1865, Wilson attacked forces under Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest who were defending Selma and captured the city along with 2,700 Confederate prisoners. Wilson's forces then proceeded to burn many of the town's residences and private businesses, as well as the Confederate arsenal and naval foundry. Ironically, the war ended just a few days later, but it would take Selma many years to recover from the devastation.

Selma would again become the scene of a dramatic struggle when it served as the focal point of the civil rights movement in 1965. On Sunday, March 7, 1965, approximately 600 marchers set out from Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church east on U.S. Highway 80, headed for Montgomery to petition the legislature for reforms in the voter-registration process. They were met just six blocks outside of town at the Edmund Pettus Bridge by state and local law enforcement and were turned back with billy clubs and tear gas; the national press soon began calling the day "Bloody Sunday." Ten days later, U.S. District Judge Frank M. Johnson Jr. granted an order authorizing the march to Montgomery. On March 25, 1965, some 25,000 marchers crossed the Edmund Pettis Bridge on their way to Montgomery.

(Source: Encyclopedia of Alabama)

Butterfly Capital

In 1989, the Alabama State Legislature designated Selma the "Butterfly Capital of Alabama." The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail is Alabama's butterfly mascot.

Contact Us

Whether you're a resident, a business owner, a visitor or thinking of making Selma your home, we hope that you find what you're looking for. Check back often as we add new information on a regular basis. Your comments and suggestions are welcome. Please email us or call us at (334) 874-2101.

 

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2012 State of the City Address FY 2012 Budget

Let's Move! Selma

 

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