Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Bombing

On September 15, 1963, a bomb exploded in a basement lounge of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, killing four girls and injuring more than 20 others. Although authorities had sufficient evidence to prosecute several members of the Ku Klux Klan shortly after the bombing, nearly 40 years passed before all the suspects were brought to trial.

The church bombing occurred just 18 days after civil rights leaders had led the March on Washington, D.C., where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., gave his “I Have A Dream” speech. In the 1960s, Birmingham had been at the center of the civil rights struggle in the South. The church was a vital part of Birmingham's African American community, serving as headquarters for local civil rights efforts; it was a frequent meeting place for activists.

Between 1947 and 1965, Birmingham experienced a series of more ...

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