Rev. Julius Scruggs, second from left, leads people in prayer during a wreath laying ceremony at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013. Rev. Jesse Jackson is fourth from left. U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Ala., is at left. (AP Photo/Hal Yeager) by Jay ReevesAssociated Press Writer BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Hundreds of people Black and White, many holding hands, filled an Alabama church that was bombed by the Ku Klux Klan 50 years ago Sunday to mark the anniversary of the blast that killed four little girls and became a landmark moment in the civil rights struggle.
by Roy Peter Clark (CNN) — On Sunday morning Sept. 15, 1963, a dynamite bomb exploded at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, killing four Black children, and injuring many others. The names of the dead girls were Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson, and Denise McNair.
In this May 1, 2001 file photo, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputies lead Thomas Blanton Jr., out of the courtroom in handcuffs after a jury convicted him of murder in Birmingham, Ala. (AP Photo/Dave Martin, File) by Jat ReevesAssociated Press Writer BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The last surviving Klansman convicted in a church bombing that killed four Black girls 50 years ago spends nearly all his time in a one-person prison cell, apparently too wary of other inmates to venture out.
As Washington, D.C. and the country reflect on the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech and the March…
JOHN F.KENNEDY by Alicia W. Stewart (CNN) — Fifty years ago, Alabama Gov. George Wallace defiantly stood in front of the University of Alabama’s Foster Auditorium to prevent Black students from enrolling. The then newly elected governor had famously declared “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever” in his inauguration speech. His “stand in the schoolhouse door” brought him national attention. It took the National Guard, federal marshals and an attorney general to persuade the governor to allow Vivian Malone Jones and James Hood to enter. It was not the first time Americans saw the drama of the civil rights movement unfold before their eyes. Earlier that spring, images of police attacking peaceful civil rights demonstrators with dogs and fire hoses in Birmingham, Alabama, flashed across the evening news. The previous year, riots were quelled with federal troops after the admission of James Meredith, the first black student at the University of Mississippi. Wallace later rescinded his views, but the incidents of the time prompted President John F. Kennedy to address the nation in a historic televised address about civil rights. “Now the time has come for this nation to fulfill its promise,” President Kennedy said in that address. ‘The events in Birmingham and elsewhere have so increased the cries for equality that no city or state or legislative body can prudently choose to ignore them.” He told the nation that evening:
CIVIL RIGHTS DEMONSTRATION–In this May 3, 1963 file photo, a 17-year-old civil rights demonstrator, defying an anti-parade ordinance of Birmingham, Ala., is attacked by a…