Bridge up for best historic attraction

Published 11:17 pm Monday, May 18, 2015

The Edmund Pettus Bridge is in the spotlight again, this time in a contest for the Best Historic Southern Attraction. The contest is part of USA Today’s 10 Best Readers Choice competition. 

Twenty locations across the south were chosen to be voted on by the people, and as of Monday afternoon, the Edmund Pettus Bridge is in fifth place.

The contest website,, reads, “From the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement, the South has witnessed some of the most important moments in American history and housed some of its most intriguing personalities.”

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Other locations in the state of Alabama include the Dexter Parsonage Museum, 16th Street Baptist Church and the Natchez Trace Parkway, which is also in Mississippi and Tennessee.

“For Selma to be included, that means a lot, and it shows that the Edmund Pettus Bridge has an important historical significance in the civil rights movement for it to be nominated for the readers choice award,” said Ashley Mason, tourism director at the Selma-Dallas County Chamber of Commerce.

“I think that would be incredible [for the bridge to win], just to show the nation that Selma played a significant role in the civil rights movement. Just to be named best anything is incredible.”

The bridge is currently behind Graceland in Memphis, Little Rock Central High School, Harpers Ferry National Historic Park in West Virginia and Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia.

“You can vote once a day, and so I hope that people will vote once a day for the next week,” Mason said. “I do hope that people will vote and share it on their Facebook pages so that their friends will vote too.”

The contest ends on May 25 and Mason said she is hoping that people will vote and tell others to vote as well. Mason said win or lose, the contest is another great way to get Selma out there for people to hear about and hopefully want to come visit.

“It gets our name out there. USA Today is all over the United States so people are seeing Selma’s name again, and just any type of free publicity like this is a good thing,” Mason said. “I just think it’s great for Selma to have that recognition and especially for something as important at the civil rights movement.”