[LBJ Library photo by Cecil Stoughton]

[LBJ Library photo by Cecil Stoughton]

How one woman died defending racial equality

Jul 02, 2014

By Mark Strassmann
published in CBS NEWS on July 2, 2014

Fifty years ago, discrimination in public accommodations and federally assisted programs became illegal, as President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. But that did not end the battle for racial equality.

Mary Lilleboe's mother, Viola Liuzzo, was a martyr of the civil rights movement.

"It's my Mom's picture and it says: 'Well behaved women rarely make history,'" says Mary.

The Detroit housewife and mother of five would become part of history. 

"If she had something to say, she said it. If she thought something needed to be done, she did it and she saw 'Bloody Sunday.' She saw it and just had to do something about it," adds Mary.

On Sunday, March 7th, 1965, Alabama police beat 600 demonstrators as they marched for voting rights.

The pictures of the incident spurred Liuzzo to drive to Selma, Ala., and join the protestors.

As Liuzzo was driving marchers home, along a pitch-black country road, Ku Klux Klansman pulled up to her car and shot her to death. read more