In the end, justice was served. It was declared a national historic landmark in 2006.

Both were convicted at trial and sentenced to life in prison. The attack took place just three weeks after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his iconic speech, “I Have a Dream.”. The bombing and the often violent protests that followed made the civil rights movement the focus of public opinion and ultimately served as a tipping point in the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Blinded by debris, she was unaware of what happened to her sister. In his historic “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” Martin Luther King, Jr. called Birmingham “probably the most thoroughly segregated city in the United States.” Between 1955 and 1963, a series of at least 21 bombings of black homes and churches, while none had resulted in fatalities, further heightened racial tensions in the city that had become known as “Bombingham.”. Here are eight other facts you need to know about the 16th Street Baptist Church bomb attack. The mere suggestion of racial integration was immediately rejected by the apartheid-like all-white city leadership. The explosion caved in the church’s interior walls and blew bricks and mortar into the parking lot. Chambliss received life in prison in 1977 following a case led by Alabama Attorney General Robert Baxley. “Sixteenth Street Baptist Church is a symbol of …

Sixteenth Street Baptist Church is well known as the site of the 1963 Ku Klux Klan bombing that killed four little girls and injured 22 others, shocking the world and galvanizing the American Civil Rights Movement. She previously worked at Beeson Divinity School and Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. Three Ku Klux Klan members were later convicted of murder. 2. If you are interested in learning more, please read our 3,400 pages on this case—what was called the “BAPBOMB” investigation—posted online. Her sister was one of the girls who died. The blast killed four little girls: Addie Mae Collins (14), Carole Robertson (14), Cynthia Wesley (14), and Denise McNair (11). It was a quiet Sunday morning in Birmingham, Alabama—around 10:24 on September 15, 1963—when a dynamite bomb exploded in the back stairwell of the downtown Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. Cynthia Wesley Biography, Life, Interesting Facts. From left, 11-year-old Denise McNair and 14-year-olds Carole Robertson, Addie Mae Collins and Cynthia Wesley were killed while attending Sunday services. By 1965, we had serious suspects—namely, Robert E. Chambliss, Bobby Frank Cherry, Herman Frank Cash, and Thomas E. Blanton, Jr., all KKK members—but witnesses were reluctant to talk and physical evidence was lacking. is an official site of the U.S. government, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights in the '60s, Part 2: Retired Investigators Reflect on 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing, ND-98: Case of the Long Island Double Agent, International Cyber Ring That Infected Millions of Computers Dismantled. (AP)
Here are nine things you should know about the bombing. Jones during the trial of Bobby Frank Cherry. A coffin is loaded into a hearse at a funeral for the girls. African Americans in the South were basically forbidden from assembling anywhere but inside a church, so the church also functioned as a civic hall. “I was sad because he had died, 'cause I was looking for him to talk, and tell who else was in this bombing because I really believe there was more than four people. No one was indicted for the murders until 1977, when Chambliss was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. ", September 15, 2013, marked the 50th anniversary, girls who died are awarded Congressional Gold Medals, statement released by Alabama Gov. During the trial, Chambliss' niece testified against him, telling jurors that before the bombing, Chambliss had bragged to her that he had “enough stuff [dynamite] put away to flatten half of Birmingham.” Still maintaining his innocence, Chambliss died in prison in 1985. And we backed that promise up.

King’s words would prove true as the death of four little girls galvanized the sympathy of the nation and the world for the cause of the civil rights movement. When the bomb went off, Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Denise McNair and Carole Robertson all died on the spot. Family and friends of Carole Robertson attend graveside services for her in Birmingham on September 17, 1963. In May 2001, former Klansmen Bobby Frank Cherry and Thomas Blanton were found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to four life terms. The original church on 16th Street was demolished in 1908. Dedicated to extending full voting rights and protections to all eligible Alabama citizens regardless of race, Bevel’s efforts led to the “Bloody Sunday” Selma to Montgomery voter registration marches of 1965 and, subsequently, to passage of the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965, banning all forms of racial discrimination in the voting and election process. In addition, the church has been placed on the UNESCO “Tentative List of World Heritage Sites.” In May 2013, President Barack Obama posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to the four young girls who died in the 1963 bombing.
With the help of donations of over $300,000 from around the world, the fully restored 16th Street Baptist Church reopened for regular services on Sunday, June 7, 1964. We have seriously disrupted Klan activities by our pressure and interviews so that these organizations have lost members and support. The innocent blood of these little girls may well serve as a redemptive force that will bring new light to this dark city. The federal program handed out boxes with meat, vegetables, cheese and milk. The church, originally known as the First Colored Baptist Church of Birmingham, was founded in 1873. Many members of 16th Street held teaching and professional jobs. “Denise McNair was in front of the crowd,” Rudolph recalled.

Here are eight other facts you need to know about the 16th Street Baptist Church bomb attack. The 16th Street Baptist Church was the first African-American church in the United States. On September 9, President John F. Kennedy further enraged white segregationists by ordering armed troops of the Alabama National Guard to oversee the racial integration of all Birmingham public schools. 3. Martin Luther King Jr. Ralph Abernathy: Advisor and Confidante to Martin Luther King Jr. Black History and Women Timeline 1960-1969, Congress of Racial Equality: History and Impact on Civil Rights, Organizations of the Civil Rights Movement, Civil Rights Legislation and Supreme Court Cases, Biography of the Rev.

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