US

Crowds arrive in Selma for 'Bloody Sunday' anniversary, await speech from President Obama

  • The sun sets over the Edmund Pettus Bridge where preparations for the 50th anniversary of the civil rights march with a visit Saturday with President Barack Obama and the first family, Friday, March. 6, 2015, in Selma, Ala. This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday," a civil rights march in which protesters were beaten, trampled and tear-gassed by police at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

    The sun sets over the Edmund Pettus Bridge where preparations for the 50th anniversary of the civil rights march with a visit Saturday with President Barack Obama and the first family, Friday, March. 6, 2015, in Selma, Ala. This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday," a civil rights march in which protesters were beaten, trampled and tear-gassed by police at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this March 1965 file photo, Martin Luther King, center, leads a march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala. In early 1965, King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference began a series of marches as part of a push for black voting rights. (AP Photo/File)

    FILE - In this March 1965 file photo, Martin Luther King, center, leads a march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala. In early 1965, King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference began a series of marches as part of a push for black voting rights. (AP Photo/File)  (The Associated Press)

  • A man passes out programs wearing a "Keep The Dream," jacket as setup begins for the 50th Anniversary March over the Edmund Pettus Bridge, Friday, March. 6, 2015, in Selma, Ala. This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday," a civil rights march in which protesters were beaten, trampled and tear-gassed by police at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

    A man passes out programs wearing a "Keep The Dream," jacket as setup begins for the 50th Anniversary March over the Edmund Pettus Bridge, Friday, March. 6, 2015, in Selma, Ala. This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday," a civil rights march in which protesters were beaten, trampled and tear-gassed by police at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)  (The Associated Press)

Thousands of people are gathering in Selma, Alabama to see President Barack Obama at the 50th anniversary of a landmark event of the civil rights movement.

Charter buses from across the nation are clogging traffic in the riverside town of 20,000.

It's a carnival atmosphere with vendors selling souvenirs commemorating the violent confrontation called "Bloody Sunday."

There's a parade, bands and historical programs before the nation's first black president speaks at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

In 1965, marchers crossing the bridge were beaten by police while demonstrating for voting rights.

Seventy-two-year-old Madeline McCloud traveled overnight with a group of NAACP members from central Florida to get to Selma. She says she's both honoring the past and teaching young people about the importance of protecting civil rights.