One Bomb, Four Lives, Many Changes
In the year 1963, many events took place in this year from blacks boycotting Boston buses to the assassination of JFK. However, that is not what is going to be elaborated on in this essay. It is going to be about the 16th Street Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama (Simkin). There are a lot of things a reader may not know, unless that reader is a historian or has looked up this topic before. In 1963 a local black church was about to have their 11:00 a.m. service on Sunday, September 15 (Trueman). In the women’s room of the church are four African American girls, Denise McNair (11), Addie Mae Collins (14), Carole Robertson (14) and Cynthia Wesley (14), which were getting ready for the service while also talking about their first day of school (Simkin), until their whole world would be changed and they wouldn’t know it.
The city of Birmingham was also known as “Bombingham” because all of the bombings that had gone on in the year 1963. The good thing was no one was hurt in the bombings. All of the targets that were hit were owned by African Americans. The bombers targeted black homes, black businesses, black churches and even black schools. All of these targets were supposed to cripple the will of the black people instead it just strengthened their movement. The main place that people would conduct their civil rights activities was the 16th street Baptist Church (Trueman).
The 16th street Baptist Church was the largest black church in Birmingham, Alabama (Simkin). It hosted some of the most historic figures during all of the Civil Rights movement such as Thurgood Marshall, W.E.B. DuBois, and later Hillary Clinton would be there as well as junior senator from Illinois and future president Barack Obama (Simkin). The church was located in the downtown area of Birmingham where a lot of the civil rights campaigning took place. Many civil-rights activists held huge meetings, sponsored rallies and planned demonstrations to fight against segregation (Trueman).
Then, within the blink of an eye there was an explosion that killed those four little girls and injured many others (Staff). The men suspected to be responsible for this devastation were named Robert “Dynamite Bob” Chambliss, Bobby Frank Cherry, Herman Frank Cash and Thomas E. Blanton Jr. (Simkin) . Then, J. Edgar Hoover was told by an eye witness that they had seen Robert Chambliss fleeing the scene (Trueman).
Robert Chambliss was born January 14, 1904. He was a member of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). He also had some good buddies that could get him dynamite. So based on this information Hoover thought he could have Chambliss locked up by the end of the week, this proved to be more of a challenge then he had anticipated considering where the trial was being held, in one of the more racial prejudice cities in the United States (Simkin). With that being said the whole trial was rigged with an entire jury being all white supremacy activists and only three black jurors...