Civil rights leader Rev. James Orange dies

ATLANTA, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- Civil rights leader, the Rev. James Orange, whose imprisonment in 1965 sparked Alabama's "Bloody Sunday" protest, has died in Atlanta at age 65.

Orange died Saturday at Crawford Long Hospital, CNN reported Sunday.


Alabama officials arrested Orange in 1965 for disorderly conduct and inciting students to participate in voting rights drives.

Civil rights activists clashed with Alabama police Feb. 18 when rumors spread that Orange would be lynched. Jimmie Lee Jackson, a local black man, died from a gunshot wound to the stomach inflicted during the confrontation.

The Rev. Martin Luther King and other civil rights leaders organized the Selma-to-Montgomery, Ala., march. Police met protesters at the first march attempt with batons in a conflict known as "Bloody Sunday."

The march succeeded on its third attempt in March 1965 and then-President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act extending voting rights to minorities in August.

Orange went on to act as a project coordinator with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and later became the regional coordinator for the AFL-CIO in Atlanta.

He founded the M.L. King Jr. March Committee-Africa/African American Renaissance Committee, Inc. in 1995 coordinating events honoring King.


Orange is survived by his wife, five children and two grandchildren.

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