ATTABOY, LUTHER!

March 9th in history:

On March 9th, 1965, more than two thousand civil rights demonstrators led by Martin Luther King Jr. marched to the Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama for the second time in three days.  State troopers had physically attacked marchers on March 7th, to keep them from crossing the bridge on a trek from Selma to the state capital of Montgomery.  The March 9th demonstration ended with the group turning back at the bridge because of a court order blocking the march.  The full march to Montgomery was permitted later that month.

The “original” Martin Luther earned a bachelor’s degree in Bible studies on this date in 1508, a year after becoming a Catholic priest.  Five years later, on March 9th, 1513, the pope who would eventually excommunicate Luther was elected.  Giovanni de Medici took the papal name Leo X.

The shout “Attaboy, Luther!” is a running joke in the Don Knotts comedy “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken,” written by Jim Fritzell and Everett Greenbaum.  Fritzell was only 59 when he died on this date in 1979.  He and Greenbaum worked as a writing team for decades, contributing to many popular TV series including “The Andy Griffith Show,” “Mister Peepers,” “Sanford and Son,” and “M*A*S*H.”


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