Now that Selma boasts a Best Picture nomination, it's officially a must-watch—not that we didn't declare it as such already. Ava DuVernay's powerful film chronicles Martin Luther King Jr.'s historic march from Selma, Ala. to the state's capital in Montgomery in his efforts to abolish the south's brazenly racist voter restrictions. The efforts eventually led President Johnson to institute the Voting Rights Act.
DuVernay's film is garnering near-universal praise, both for her on-point translation of real events and lead actor David Oyelowo's commanding performance as Dr. King (ahem, Oscar voters). As awards season only increases the film's buzz, naturally more audiences are being exposed to this chapter of the Civil Rights movement for the first time, creating a thirst for additional knowledge that didn't fit in DuVernay's narrative. What better occasion than MLK Day to fill in some of the blanks for you with the full picture. Honor your day off with a few historical facts. Here are some things you probably didn't know about the march from Selma to Montgomery, irl.