Selma, Alabama, the seat of Dallas County. It lies on the Alabama River about 45 miles (72 km) west of Montgomery, the state capital. Selma is a trading and processing center for an agricultural area and has varied light industries. Nearby is Old Cahawba, the site of Alabama's first capital, now an archeological park. Selma has a mayor-council form of government.
Selma was settled in about 1816 and soon became the shipping point for locally grown cotton. During the Civil War it was a Confederate armament center and was ravaged by Union forces in 1865. Selma was incorporated as a city in 1883. In 1965 civil rights demonstrations here, climaxed by a five-day march from Selma to Montgomery, helped to attain passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.