MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - One by one the photos tell the story of bravery and sacrifice.
"It's an incredible moment to see these artifacts from this period," says Steve Murray.
Murray runs the Alabama Department of Archives and History and has a front row seat to a compelling part of American history.
"My favorite photograph is African-American children standing around an American flag, a beautiful image of Alabamians claiming their identity in the United States," Murray said.
There are other images as well. The camera captured a moment of truth; the stand-off between Alabama State Troopers and protesters just before the infamous clash in March of 1965.
"When it was broadcast on the national news that night, many Americans realized we had reached a turning point," Murray said.
It was a turning point in which the country never looked back.
Another photo shows the marchers rounding a corner into downtown Montgomery and heading straight to the Capitol. It was the final leg of a brutal journey, the culmination of boycotts, lawsuits and pain.
"All those strategies worked together to compel the federal government to act," Murray said.
Bringing history closer to home through photographs and now the "Selma" movie, which made its debut in theaters nationwide Friday.