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16 Street Bombing, Birmingham Alabama

This picture shows the destruction of the bomb. It made destruction all over. It destroyed cars, buildings, and hurts many people. http://blackusa.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/church-bombing.jpg


Church Bombing September 15 , 1963 at 10:22 on a Sunday morning a bomb went off in the Church in This is the newspaper that went out after Birmingham Alabama. This was an act the bombing. of terrorism. Many say they felt alone and unprotected. The bombing was .http://static.parade.condenast.com/wpcontent/uploads/2013/09/Bomb_blast_kills_4_chidren_injures_17 done by white men belonging to the _at_church-ftr.jpg Ku Klux Klan (KKK). Two and a half mbing. weeks before this was Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a Dream” speech. MLK also speaks at the funeral for the girls that had died. th

Fifteen sticks of dynamite were placed in the basement below the girl’s bathroom. This caused a ton of damage. It injured a lot of people and killed four girls. The governor of Alabama made racial segregation one of the “central goals of his administration” and that Birmingham had one of the most violated parts of the Ku Klux Klan. He pressed charges against the men they found. They later were charged for the murder of the girls. Many were upset and frustrated with these men. Citizens say what they did was cruel and unreasonable. The schools and churches were segregated. This is why the men bombed this church. They did not want any blacks in their schools and churches. They were racist because a person is a person. They were willing to kill people just to be separated. Many people were for separated schools. But there were no attacks


on little girls as harmful as this was. But on the other hand many were against it and wanted everyone to be treated equally.

The Four Girls

These are the four innocent girls that died in the bombing. http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/m_r/randall/4girls .jpg

On the day of September 15th, 1963 four innocent girls were killed. Addie Mae Collins, 14, Denisse McNair, 11, Carole Robertson, 14 and Cynthia Wesley, 14. A bomb exploded killing them. They were attending Sunday school. Tensions were very high racial wise. Civil rights activists blamed George Wallace, the Governor of Alabama, for the killings of these girls. Only a week before the bombing he had told New York Times that stopping integration Alabama needed a "few first-class funerals." It is recognized to this day about the tragic incident.

At the time of the bombing children were said to be gathering for a sermon. “The bomb apparently went off in an unoccupied basement room and blew down the wall, sending stone and debris flying like shrapnel into a room where children were assembling,� said the UPI. Many described this horrifying sight. Even though the dynamite was placed in the basement it causes damage all around. To cars, other buildings, and the whole entire church. Violence was all around the city. There were yells, screams and


cries. Two other boys were also killed in all the madness. One by an officer and the other by two white men.

The Men Who Killed the Girls There were three men who bombed this church. At first they only thought it was one. They then realized it was three more. Not all of them were there but all had a role in this explosion. This act was done by members of the Ku This is destruction and people trying to clean up some of the mess. Klux Klan. A well-known member of http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch/2013/09/18/221790880/50the Ku Klux Klan, Robert Chambliss years-later-birmingham-is-still-subtly-divided was first charged. He got charged for the murder of the four girls. He also with bought 122 sticks of dynamite. An Alabama attorney reopened the case and Chambliss was convicted in 1977. He was sentenced to life in prison. An FBI investigation identified three other men. Bobby Frank Cherry, Herman Cash and Thomas E. Blanton, Jr. They were said to have helped Chambliss commit the crime. But their prosecution was blocked. And the investigation was shut down without filled charges. Many had tried to prosecute the other three men for decades. They finally were put in trial. They found that Cash had died in1994. Cherry and Blanton although were arrested. Also they were charged in 2000. Blanton got life in prison. Cherry’s trial was delayed after they found that he was mentally


unfit for trial. His trial was later reversed. And Cherry was sentenced to life in prison in 2002.

A Timeline of the Bombing September 15, 1963 -- A dynamite bomb explodes at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, killing 11-year-old Carol Denise McNair and 14-year-olds Cynthia Wesley, Addie Mae Collins and Carole Robertson. 1965 -- Birmingham FBI agents recommend that at least four suspects be charged with the bombing. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover blocks the prosecution of the suspects, saying the chance of winning a conviction was "remote." 1968 -- Federal authorities pull out of the investigation without charges being filed. 1971 -- Alabama Attorney General Bill Baxley reopens the case. September 26, 1977 -- Robert Chambliss, 73, a retired auto mechanic and former Ku Klux Klan member, is indicted by a Jefferson County grand jury on four counts of first-degree murder. November 18, 1977-- Chambliss is convicted of first-degree murder in connection with Carol's death and sentenced to life imprisonment. 1980 -- Jefferson County's district attorney reopens the case after a U.S. Justice Department report found that Hoover had blocked evidence that prosecutors could have used. No additional charges are filed. October 29, 1985 -- Chambliss dies of natural causes at age 81 without ever publicly admitting any role in the bombing. October, 1988 -- Federal and state prosecutors reopen their investigation into the church bombing after Gary A. Tucker, a former bus driver dying of cancer, said he helped set the bomb. No new charges are filed.


July 10, 1997 -- The FBI reopens its investigation into the bombing after a secret yearlong review. May 4, 2000 -- A lawyer for longtime bombing suspect Bobby Frank Cherry says his client rejected a deal in which he would receive probation if he pleaded guilty to transporting explosives over state lines. Cherry, in jail in Texas on charges of raping his stepdaughter in 1971, continues to deny any involvement in the bombing. May 17, 2000 -- Former Ku Klux Klan members Cherry and Thomas Blanton Jr. surrender to authorities after a Jefferson County, Alabama, grand jury indicts them on first-degree murder charges in connection with the 1963 bombing. April 2, 2001 -- A judge rejects a request by lawyers for Blanton and Cherry to move the trial out of Birmingham. The defense argues that pretrial publicity and the emotional nature of the case warrant a change of venue. The men face life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder. May 1, 2001 -- Blanton is found guilty of first-degree murder and is sentenced to four life terms. May 22, 2002 -- Cherry is found guilty and given a sentence of four life terms. http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/13/us/birmingham-bombing-timeline/index.html

Bibliography Joiner, Lottie L.. "4 Little Girls: The Bombing of Sixteenth Street Baptist Church." The Bombing of Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. Crisis Publications Inc., n.d. Web. 14 May 2014. <http://web.a.ebscohost.com/src/detail?vid=3&sid=1fd24fe9-2866-48a8-83add65613e292ae%40sessionmgr4001&hid=4101&bdata=JnNpdGU9c3JjLWxpdmU%3d#db=ulh&AN=89083 978>. Meacham, Jon. "Birmingham Resurrected." Birmingham Resurrected. Time Inc., 23 Sept. 2013. Web. 14 May 2014. <http://web.a.ebscohost.com/src/detail?vid=5&sid=1fd24fe9-2866-48a8-83ad-


d65613e292ae%40sessionmgr4001&hid=4114&bdata=JnNpdGU9c3JjLWxpdmU%3d#db=khh&AN=9021 7138>. Meacham, Jon. "Birmingham Resurrected." Birmingham Resurrected. Time Inc., 23 Sept. 2013. Web. 14 May 2014. http://web.a.ebscohost.com/src/detail?vid=5&sid=1fd24fe9-2866-48a8-83add65613e292ae%40sessionmgr4001&hid=4114&bdata=JnNpdGU9c3JjLWxpdmU%3d#db=khh&AN=9021 7138>.

The 16th street bombing