Bombing of the black church that was used as the center of black protests during the Birmingham demonstrations of April and May 1963, resulting in the deaths of four young girls and injuries to twenty-one others.
Denise McNair, age 11
Addie Mae Collins, age 14
Carole Robertson, age 14
Cynthia Wesley, age 14
Occurred September 15, 1963, near the end of Sunday School at the church. Carried out with ten sticks of dynamite.
creates anger, vindictive spirit in blacks, resulting in interracial violence on Birmingham streets
initially arouses remorse in whites then, later, fears of black reprisals
fear of violence and black retaliation persuades Governor George Wallace to send in three hundred state troopers
leads to murder of two innocent blacks following bombing, one by police and the other by white teenagers
prompts intervention by federal government to determine the guilty parties.
reflects extreme efforts by Southern racists to forestall attempts by Southern blacks to receive equal rights
is a retaliation for the role of Sixteenth Street Church in spring 1963 demonstrations
makes Southern moderates speak out against racial violence and demand the arrest and prosecution of responsible parties
prompts the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) to strengthen its attacks against Southern racism.