50th Anniversary Commemoration Of Birmingham Baptist Church Bombing: A Time For Reflection

50 years ago today, in the most segregated city in America, led by the most divisive Governor in America at the time, hate and racism combined to lead to a horrific bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.

Governor George Wallace had already become the symbol of the worst in America, having stood in the door of the Registrar’s Office at the University of Alabama, trying to prevent two black college students from attending the state university based upon their race, but with President John F. Kennedy sending in the National Guard to insure their entrance and security.

Four young black girls were killed in the bombing, an incomprehensible event committed by the Ku Klux Klan, against a house of worship.

This event galvanized the civil rights movement, although it took decades to prosecute and convict the perpetrators of this slaughter.

C Span today is spending much of the day on American History TV commemorating this tragedy, and reflecting on how far we have come in fifty years, and how far we have progressed. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a direct result of this tragedy, helped along by the brilliance of President Lyndon B. Johnson, who overcame the Senate filibuster to accomplish what seemed like impossible odds to overcome opposition.

Congress awarded Congressional Gold Medals in honor of the four girls, in a recent ceremony, and bronze replicas are available for purchase through the US Mint, a great suggestion for a wonderful gift to remind the younger generation of the sacrifices of those involved in the civil rights movement.

6 comments on “50th Anniversary Commemoration Of Birmingham Baptist Church Bombing: A Time For Reflection

  1. Engineer Of Knowledge September 15, 2013 5:08 pm

    Hello Professor,
    I remember well that day and the shock many felt of four young girls so cowardly killed because those in control did not want reality to be fact in the world they were living in.

    The Sheriff who was the controlling force in the area was nothing more than a Klansman himself.

    When the Freedom Buses were to arrive, he told the “Good O’l Boys” they had 15 minutes of free looking the other way with a guarantee no one would be arrested. This was still after the bombing.

    They would be Tea Party members today. The more things change the more they stay the same.

  2. Maggie September 16, 2013 9:56 pm

    The consequences of the hatred and ugly passions of the Civil War has extended far into subsequent generations, and is still firmly embedded into the psychology and culture of some southern states.
    After the fighting was over, racial segregation became a way of life and Birmingham was central to stunning hatred and racism. I remember hearing my parents talk about it.
    Bitterness dies hard and the hatreds left over from the that time still fester like an open wound in many southern communities.
    The republican party now continues to keep stirring embers of that fire of hate because we had the audacity to elect President Obama.
    Six ex-Confederate soldiers from Tennessee, who were bored with post-war life founded the Klan in 1866. Later led by an former Confederate General Nathan Forrest, the KKK terrorist organization grew until it was so embedded in the white southern culture, life and politics, and was so secretive no one knew exactly who were members. It grew to over 5 million members! Though membership has dropped to 5 -6 thousand, it’ agenda has not changed nor have they dropped the hate filled rhetoric that is their calling card for disenfranchised bigots and racists everywhere! They are training their children in the same racism. And now they have a whole new way to enlist new members and get their sick message out, the internet!
    One only has to read what I suppose is their moronic mission statement on their website to realize their hate, racism, stupidity and lies are alive and well. I imagine their membership has grown since President Obama’s election. I ‘m also pretty sure a very large percentage of them have NRA Life memberships and they are drooling over thoughts of another civil war to “fight the communist *who has taken over our country” http://kkkknights.com/main_page.html
    *and blacks, immigrants, all brown people, Jews, Gays, Muslims, and everyone who disagrees with their so called Christian views.

  3. Ronald September 16, 2013 10:16 pm

    I had not seen the Klan site before now, and it is chilling. Thanks, Maggie!

  4. Eugene September 17, 2013 6:35 pm

    It’s amazing how liberals when talking about Wallace consistently omit or forget to mention that he was a big government populist liberal Democrat from the South.It’s never Democrat Governor Goerge Wallace. LOL! And when mentioning the history of the Klan, we never ever mention it was supported by the Democrat Party.

  5. Ronald September 17, 2013 6:42 pm

    Eugene, no one is holding back that Wallace was a despicable Southern Democrat. But Strom Thurmond became a Republican in 1964 because of the Civil Rights Act, starting the move of Southern Democrats to the GOP, and Jesse Helms was the most monstrous of all Southern Republicans, and Ted Cruz thinks we need 100 Helms in the Senate. Case closed!

  6. Ronald September 17, 2013 6:44 pm

    And to call Wallace a “liberal” or “populist” is totally preposterous and inane, and makes me wonder about your knowledge and intelligence, quite frankly. That is PURE BULL, and you know it!

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