‘Selma’ a hit on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - Many people chose to mark Martin Luther King Day by watching an Oscar-nominated film based on the rise of the civil rights movement.

The movie Selma shows how racial tensions escalated at a peaceful march that suddenly turned violent.

Images documented marchers being beaten and tear-gassed on the now infamous Edmond Pettus Bridge.

Through a relatively new invention, at the time, those images broadcast to more than 70 million television sets gaining sympathy, support and outrage by the rest of a nation shielded from racism.

Selma opened nationwide last week and is nominated for two Academy Awards including best picture.