- Slides: 24
September 15, 1963 10: 22 a. m. Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Twenty-six children walked into the basement assembly room for prayers on the day’s lesson, “The Love that Forgives. ”
At the same time, the Ku Klux Klan, in a racially motivated incident of domestic terrorism, bombed the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. The FBI defines domestic terrorism as, "the unlawful use of force or violence, committed by a group(s) of two or more individuals, against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives. ”
Payload: a box of at least fifteen sticks of dynamite wired to a timedelay fuse placed outside the street -level basement window of the church.
Age 14 Age 11 Age 14
As the crowd came outside to watch the victims being carried out, one youth broke away and tried to touch one of the blanket-covered forms. "This is my sister, " he cried. "My God, she's dead. " Police took the hysterical boy away.
The window of the restroom in which four young girls were killed by the blast.
The tragedy of September 15, 1963 did not end with the bombing and death of four young girls. That afternoon as the community around the church seethed, Johnny Robinson was part of a group throwing rocks at white gawkers. When he saw a policeman, he fled down an alley and was shot in the back by Birmingham policeman, Jack Parker. Johnny Robinson was DOA at the hospital, and Jack Parker was never indicted for his actions.
The death of Johnny Robinson did not mark the end of this tragic day. Two youths’ fates were on a collision course that afternoon. Virgil Ware was riding on the handlebars of his brother’s bicycle while Larry Joe Sims was riding with Michael Farley on his motorbike after attending a segregationist rally. When the two white teenagers saw Virgil and his brother on the bicycle, Farley handed Sims a revolver and told Sims to shoot to “scare ‘em. ” Larry Joe Sims closed his eyes and shot Virgil Ware in the chest.
Thus Virgil Ware’s death marked the sixth victim of racial hatred and violence on this day.
Typical of many whites’ response to the bombing was that of “Bull” Conner. While addressing a White Citizen’s Council, Conner railed, "If you're going to blame anyone for getting those children killed in Birmingham, it's your Supreme Court. You're going to have bloodshed, and it's on them [the Court], not us. " He also voiced his opinion that the African American community might have placed the bomb at the church saying, "I wouldn't say it's above King's crowd. "
Zapruder frame 335: The fatal head shot Then on another beautiful fall day in November, tragedy reared its ugly head again.
At the funeral for three of the victims of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing, Martin Luther King eulogized, “God still has a way of wringing good out of evil. The innocent blood of these little girls may well serve as the redemptive force that will bring new light to this dark city. ”
Shuttlesworth quoted Kennedy from a June visit to the White House on the occasion of proposing sweeping civil rights legislation as saying, “ But for Birmingham, we would not be here today. ” (But for Birmingham by Glenn T. Eskew, Chapel Hill, North Carolina: University of North Carolina Press, 1997).
http: //funwithhistory. wordpress. com/category/social-history/page/2/ President Lyndon B. Johnson signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 based on legislation John F. Kennedy proposed in June of 1963.
Bibliography "Alabama Department of Archives and History Digital Collections. " Birmingham. Alabama Department of Archives and History, Web. 22 Sep 2009. http: //www. archives. alabama. gov/ “Sixteen Street Baptist Church. " Encyclopedia of Alabama. 09/03/2007. Web. 21 Sep 2009. <http: //www. encyclopediaofalabama. org/ "Zapruder film frame 335. " JFK History Forum. Web. 3 Jan 2011. <http: //jfkhistory. com/forum/index. php? topic=396. 15>. John Woolley, Gerhard Peters. "John F. Kennedy. " The American Presidency Project. University of California, Web. 28 Sep 2009. <http: //www. presidency. ucsb. edu/ws/index. php? pid=9206>.