Sep 15, 1963: Four black schoolgirls killed in Birmingham ~ Women’s History Month


The four girls killed in the bombing (Clockwis...
The four girls killed in the bombing (Clockwise from top left, Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Denise McNair) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On this day in 1963, a bomb explodes during Sunday morning services in the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, killing four young girls.

With its large African-American congregation, the 16th Street Baptist Church served as a meeting place for civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr., who once called Birmingham a “symbol of hardcore resistance to integration.” Alabama’s governor, George Wallace, made preserving racial segregation one of the central goals of his administration, and Birmingham had one of the most violent and lawless chapters of the Ku Klux Klan.

The church bombing was the third in Birmingham in 11 days after a federal order came down to integrate Alabama’s school system. Fifteen sticks of dynamite were planted in the church basement, underneath what turned out to be the girls’ restroom. The bomb detonated at 10:19 a.m., killing Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Addie Mae Collins–all 14 years old–and 11-year-old Denise McNair. Immediately after the blast, church members wandered dazed and bloodied, covered with white powder and broken stained glass, before starting to dig in the rubble to search for survivors. More than 20 other members of the congregation were injured in the blast.

When thousands of angry black protesters assembled at the crime scene, Wallace sent hundreds of police and state troopers to the area to break up the crowd. Two young black men were killed that night, one by police and another by racist thugs. Meanwhile, public outrage over the bombing continued to grow, drawing international attention to Birmingham. At a funeral for three of the girls (one’s family preferred a separate, private service), King addressed more than 8,000 mourners.

A well-known Klan member, Robert Chambliss, was charged with murder and with buying 122 sticks of dynamite. In October 1963, Chambliss was cleared of the murder charge and received a six-month jail sentence and a $100 fine for the dynamite. Although a subsequent FBI investigation identified three other men–Bobby Frank Cherry, Herman Cash and Thomas E. Blanton, Jr.–as having helped Chambliss commit the crime, it was later revealed that FBI chairman J. Edgar Hoover blocked their prosecution and shut down the investigation without filing charges in 1968. After Alabama Attorney General Bill Baxley reopened the case, Chambliss was convicted in 1977 and sentenced to life in prison.

Efforts to prosecute the other three men believed responsible for the bombing continued for decades. Though Cash died in 1994, Cherry and Blanton were arrested and charged with four counts of murder in 2000. Blanton was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Cherry’s trial was delayed after judges ruled he was mentally incompetent to stand trial. This decision was later reversed. On May 22, 2002, Cherry was convicted and sentenced to life, bringing a long-awaited victory to the friends and families of the four young victims.

history.com

on this day … 3/13 1865 – Jefferson Davis signed a bill authorizing slaves to be used as soldiers for the Confederacy.


0483 – St. Felix III began his reign as Pope.

0607 – The 12th recorded passage of Halley’s Comet occurred.

1519 – Cortez landed in Mexico.

1639 – Harvard University was named for clergyman John Harvard.

1660 – A statute was passed limiting the sale of slaves in the colony of Virginia.

1777 – The U.S. Congress ordered its European envoys to appeal to high-ranking foreign officers to send troops to reinforce the American army.

1781 – Sir William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus.

1852 – The New York “Lantern” newspaper published the first “Uncle Sam cartoon”. It was drawn by Frank Henry Bellew.

1865 – Jefferson Davis signed a bill authorizing slaves to be used as soldiers for the Confederacy.

1868 – The U.S. Senate began the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson.

1877 – Chester Greenwood patented the earmuff.

1878 – The first collegiate golf match was played between Oxford and Cambridge.

1884 – Standard time was adopted throughout the U.S.

1900 – In South Africa, British Gen. Roberts took Bloemfontein.

1901 – Andrew Carnegie announced that he was retiring from business and that he would spend the rest of his days giving away his fortune. His net worth was estimated at $300 million.

1902 – In Poland, schools were shut down across the country when students refused to sing the Russian hymn “God Protect the Czar.”

1902 – Andrew Carnegie approved 40 applications from libraries for donations.

1908 – The people of Jerusalem saw an automobile for the first time. The owner was Charles Glidden of Boston.

1911 – The U.S. Supreme Court approved corporate tax law.

1915 – The Germans repelled a British expeditionary force attack in France.

1918 – Women were scheduled to march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York due to a shortage of men due to wartime.

1925 – A law in Tennessee prohibited the teaching of evolution.

1930 – It was announced that the planet Pluto had been discovered by scientist Clyde Tombaugh at the Lowell Observatory.

1933 – U.S. banks began to re-open after a “holiday” that had been declared by President Roosevelt.

1935 – Three-thousand-year-old archives were found in Jerusalem confirming some biblical history.

1940 – The war between Russia and Finland ended with the signing of a treaty in Moscow.

1941 – Adolf Hitler issued an edict calling for an invasion of the U.S.S.R.

1942 – Julia Flikke of the Nurse Corps became the first woman colonel in the U.S. Army.

1943 – Japanese forces ended their attack on the American troops on Hill 700 in Bougainville.

1946 – Reports from Iran indicated that Soviet tanks units were stationed 20 miles from Tehran.

1946 – Premier Tito seized wartime collaborator General Draja Mikhailovich in a cave in Yugoslavia.

1951 – Israel demanded $1.5 billion in German reparations for the cost of caring for war refugees.

1951 – The comic strip “Dennis the Menace” appeared for the first time in newspapers across the country.

1957 – Jimmy Hoffa was arrested by the FBI on bribery charges.

1963 – China invited Soviet President Khrushchev to visit Peking.

1969 – The Apollo 9 astronauts returned to Earth after the conclusion of a mission that included the successful testing of the Lunar Module.

1970 – Cambodia ordered Hanoi and Viet Cong troops to leave.

1970 – Digital Equipment Corp. introduced the PDP-11 minicomputer.

1972 – “The Merv Griffin Show” debuted in syndication for Metromedia Television.

1974 – The U.S. Senate voted 54-33 to restore the death penalty.

1974 – An embargo imposed by Arab oil-producing countries was lifted.

1980 – A jury in Winamac, IN, found Ford Motor Company innocent of reckless homicide in the deaths of three young women that had been riding in a Ford Pinto.

1988 – The board of trustees off Gallaudet University in Washington, DC, chose I. King Jordan to be its first deaf president. The college is a liberal arts college for the hearing-impaired.

1990 – The U.S. lifted economic sanctions against Nicaragua.

1991 – Exxon paid $1 billion in fines and for the clean-up of the Alaskan oil spill.

1995 – The first United Nations World Summit on Social Development concluded in Copenhagen, Denmark.

1997 – Sister Nirmala was chosen by India’s Missionaries of Charity to succeed Mother Teresa as leader of the Catholic order.

2002 – Fox aired “Celebrity Boxing.” Tonya Harding beat Paula Jones, Danny Banaduce beat Barry Williams and Todd Bridges defeated Vanilla Ice.

2003 – Japan sent a destroyer to the Sea of Japan amid reports that North Korea was planning to test an intermediate-range ballistic missile.

2003 – A report in the journal “Nature” reported that scientists had found 350,000-year-old human footprints in Italy. The 56 prints were made by three early, upright-walking humans that were descending the side of a volcano.

2006 – In New York, the official start of construction of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum began.

2012 – After 244 years of publication, Encyclopædia Britannica announced it would discontinue its print edition.

1884 – Standard time was adopted throughout the U.S.


alarm clock change to standard time

Standard time

Local mean solar time depends upon longitude; it is advanced by four minutes per degree eastward. In 1869 Charles F. Dowd, principal of a school in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., proposed the use of time zones, within which all localities would keep the same time. Others, including Sir Sandford Fleming, a Canadian civil engineer, strongly advocated this idea. Time zones were adopted by U.S. and Canadian railroads in 1883.

britannica.com

History… March 13


0607 – The 12th recorded passage of Halley’s Comet occurred.

1519 – Cortez landed in Mexico.

1639 – Harvard University was named for clergyman John Harvard.

1660 – A statute was passed limiting the sale of slaves in the colony of Virginia.

1777 – The U.S. Congress ordered its European envoys to appeal to high-ranking foreign officers to send troops to reinforce the American army.

1781 – Sir William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus.

1852 – The New York “Lantern” newspaper published the first “Uncle Sam cartoon”. It was drawn by Frank Henry Bellew.

1865 – Jefferson Davis signed a bill authorizing slaves to be used as soldiers for the Confederacy.

1868 – The U.S. Senate began the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson.

1877 – Chester Greenwood patented the earmuff.

1878 – The first collegiate golf match was played between Oxford and Cambridge.

1884 – Standard time was adopted throughout the U.S.

1900 – In South Africa, British Gen. Roberts took Bloemfontein.

1901 – Andrew Carnegie announced that he was retiring from business and that he would spend the rest of his days giving away his fortune. His net worth was estimated at $300 million.

1902 – In Poland, schools were shut down across the country when students refused to sing the Russian hymn “God Protect the Czar.”

1902 – Andrew Carnegie approved 40 applications from libraries for donations.

1908 – The people of Jerusalem saw an automobile for the first time. The owner was Charles Glidden of Boston.

1911 – The U.S. Supreme Court approved corporate tax law.

1915 – The Germans repelled a British expeditionary force attack in France.

1918 – Women were scheduled to march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York due to a shortage of men due to wartime.

1925 – A law in Tennessee prohibited the teaching of evolution.

1930 – It was announced that the planet Pluto had been discovered by scientist Clyde Tombaugh at the Lowell Observatory.

1933 – U.S. banks began to re-open after a “holiday” that had been declared by President Roosevelt.

1935 – Three-thousand-year-old archives were found in Jerusalem confirming some biblical history.

1940 – The war between Russia and Finland ended with the signing of a treaty in Moscow.

1941 – Adolf Hitler issued an edict calling for an invasion of the U.S.S.R.

1942 – Julia Flikke of the Nurse Corps became the first woman colonel in the U.S. Army.

1943 – Japanese forces ended their attack on the American troops on Hill 700 in Bougainville.

1946 – Reports from Iran indicated that Soviet tanks units were stationed 20 miles from Tehran.

1946 – Premier Tito seized wartime collaborator General Draja Mikhailovich in a cave in Yugoslavia.

1951 – Israel demanded $1.5 billion in German reparations for the cost of caring for war refugees.

1951 – The comic strip “Dennis the Menace” appeared for the first time in newspapers across the country.

1957 – Jimmy Hoffa was arrested by the FBI on bribery charges.

1963 – China invited Soviet President Khrushchev to visit Peking.

1969 – The Apollo 9 astronauts returned to Earth after the conclusion of a mission that included the successful testing of the Lunar Module.

1970 – Cambodia ordered Hanoi and Viet Cong troops to leave.

1970 – Digital Equipment Corp. introduced the PDP-11 minicomputer.

1972 – “The Merv Griffin Show” debuted in syndication for Metromedia Television.

1974 – The U.S. Senate voted 54-33 to restore the death penalty.

1974 – An embargo imposed by Arab oil-producing countries was lifted.

1980 – A jury in Winamac, IN, found Ford Motor Company innocent of reckless homicide in the deaths of three young women that had been riding in a Ford Pinto.

1988 – The board of trustees off Gallaudet University in Washington, DC, chose I. King Jordan to be its first deaf president. The college is a liberal arts college for the hearing-impaired.

1990 – The U.S. lifted economic sanctions against Nicaragua.

1991 – Exxon paid $1 billion in fines and for the clean-up of the Alaskan oil spill.

1995 – The first United Nations World Summit on Social Development concluded in Copenhagen, Denmark.

1997 – Sister Nirmala was chosen by India’s Missionaries of Charity to succeed Mother Teresa as leader of the Catholic order.

2002 – Fox aired “Celebrity Boxing.” Tonya Harding beat Paula Jones, Danny Banaduce beat Barry Williams and Todd Bridges defeated Vanilla Ice.

2003 – Japan sent a destroyer to the Sea of Japan amid reports that North Korea was planning to test an intermediate-range ballistic missile.

2003 – A report in the journal “Nature” reported that scientists had found 350,000-year-old human footprints in Italy. The 56 prints were made by three early, upright-walking humans that were descending the side of a volcano.

2006 – In New York, the official start of construction of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum began.

2012 – After 244 years of publication, Encyclopædia Britannica announced it would discontinue its print edition.