Sunday, September 15, 2013

4 Little Girls You Should Never Forget

September 15, 1963.  Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama.  

The bombing (planted by the Ku Klux Klan) happened during Sunday school, as a symbol of opposition to racial equality and civil rights.  The explosion ripped through the church and killed 11-year-old Denise McNair, and 14-year-olds Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley. 

The incident represented a terrible way of life during the civil rights movement.  One that was full of violence, bombings, lynchings and hatred.  This bombing was especially painful because these were children.  Four little innocent, beautiful girls...attending Sunday school.  

It took many years for authorities to solve the case.  *blank stare*  Three Ku Klux Klansmen were eventually convicted in the bombings.  Robert "Dynamite" Chambliss was convicted for his role in the bombing in 1977 (died in prison in 1985).  Bobby Cherry was convicted in 2002 (died in prison, two years after the conviction). Thomas Blanton was convicted in 2001, and is still serving a life term.  A fourth suspect, Herman Cash died in 1994 without ever serving a day behind bars. 

As we look back on this terrible act, let's always remember and honor those four little girls. Share their story with younger generations.  Talk about it.  Keep their legacy alive. 

Top: Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson
Bottom: Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair
** Last week, Congress bestowed its highest civilian honor to Cynthia, Carole, Addie Mae and Denise with a presentation of Congressional Gold Medals for heroism. **

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