Birmingham Church Bombing
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Time Period
9/15/1963
Description
The African American Church had long been a site for community and organized protests against racial injustices (see Southern Christian Leadership Conference). However, on the Sunday morning of September 15, 1963, it became a target of racist violence.

A bomb, planted by Klu Klux Klan members, went off in Birmingham, Alabama at a predominantly black congregation, the 16th Street Baptist Church. The explosion killed four young girls -- Addie Mae Collins (14), Cynthia Wesley (14), Carole Robertson (14), and Denise McNair (11). A fifth girl, Sarah Collins, lost her right eye and others were injured.

Both the context (a church) and the victims (young girls) of the event sparked outrage and riots. Although punishing the perpetrators became a difficult task, the event led to support for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The tragedy became a pivotal turning point for the country to address the dangers of racism.
Interactive Timeline(s)
Baptist Religious Events and People in American History
Religious Groups
Baptist Family: Other Timeline Event Entries
Baptist Family: Other Timeline Biography Entries

Baptist Family: Other ARDA Links

Movements
Civil Rights Movement
Web Source(s)
https://www.britannica.com/event/16th-Street-Baptist-Church-bombing
Encyclopedia Britannica, "16th Street Baptist Church bombing"
http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/birmingham-church-bombing
The History Channel, "Birmingham Church Bombing"

Web Page Contributor
Benjamin T. Gurrentz
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in Sociology

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