SELMA, ALA. -- Twenty-two years after Martin Luther King Jr. led a historic voting-rights march in Selma, a veteran of the civil-rights movement was sworn in to give the City Council its first black voting majority.

Ed Moss, 71, was appointed to the City Council Monday night, with the crucial votes of two whites, to replace a white councilman who resigned two months ago.

The panel has never had a black majority, even though about 52 percent of the city's 27,000 residents are black. Moss said he thought about the civil-rights struggle while he was being sworn in yesterday morning.

"I was thinking about the times when we only had 300 black folks registered to vote {in Dallas County}," he said. "It was impossible then to think about somebody black being elected to any board, or even appointed."

Voting for Moss were black Councilmen Lozenzo Harrison and Cleophus Mann, along with white members Charlie Morgan and Carl Morgan, who as president usually votes only in the event of a tie.

When Morgan asked Councilman Kim Ballard to change his vote against Moss to show unanimity, Ballard refused, contending that if a black had resigned from the board, blacks would have insisted on a black replacement.

Moss participated in the 1965 demonstration in which voting-rights marchers in Selma were routed by mounted, club-swinging troopers at the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Later, with King on hand and a ruling by a federal judge clearing the way, marchers made the 50-mile journey from Selma to Montgomery, as federal troops stood guard and the national news media followed each day.