• WVTM-TV: Birmingham Seeks Civil Rights National Park Designation

    September 9, 2016

    Architect renderings show future Freedom Center and A. G. Gaston Motel.

    photo by: A.G. Gaston Design

    Congresswoman Terri Sewell and Birmingham Mayor William Bell held a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, asking President Obama to create a national historical civil rights park to include landmarks of Birmingham's Civil Rights district, including the 16th Street Baptist Church, the A. G. Gaston Motel, Kelly Ingram Park, Bethel Baptist Church and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.

    "We call for President Obama to designate the historical civil rights national park," said Brent Leggs, with the National Trust for Historic Preservation."

    Also attending the press conference was Carolyn McKinstry who survived the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in 1963. She said, "People come from all over the world to visit that district, every aspect of the district is important."

    See more in the full report from WVTM-TV.

  • Help us Create a Civil Rights National Park in Birmingham!

    August 18, 2016

    In celebration of the 53rd anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s March on Washington, the National Trust and the city of Birmingham are asking you to show your support for creating a Civil Rights National Park in the city by participating in the March for Birmingham.

    Starting at the A.G. Gaston Motel (named a National Treasure in 2015), the march route includes the 16th Street Baptist Church, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, and Kelly Ingram Park. Following the march, join us in Kelly Ingram Park for a free special musical performance featuring Ledisi!

    What: The March for Birmingham: Civil Rights National Park Now!
    Where: A.G. Gaston Motel, 1514 5th Ave. N, Birmingham, AL 35203
    When: Sunday, August 28 at 6 p.m.
    Cost: Free!

    Registration is not mandatory, but the first 250 to register also receive a free gift, so register today!

    Thank you for supporting a national park that helps tell the full American story. We look forward to seeing you on August 28.

  • Legislation Calls for Creation of the Birmingham Civil Rights National Historical Park

    March 28, 2016

    On Tuesday, March 22, United States Congresswoman Terri Sewell (AL-7) introduced legislation in the House (H. 4817) calling for the creation of the Birmingham Civil Rights National Historical Park. Birmingham was one of the most heavily segregated cities in the United States in the 1960s and was the epicenter of the American Civil Rights Movement. Civil Rights leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth, and Reverend Ralph Abernathy held a “war room” at the A. G. Gaston Motel, where they skillfully worked to dismantle Jim Crow. In addition, the proposed park would include other iconic civil rights landmarks like the 16th Street Baptist Church, Kelly Ingram Park, Bethel Baptist Church, and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.

    Birmingham has a rich collection of intact historic buildings that tells our civil rights story. The non-violent protest marches in Birmingham in the spring of 1963 happened here and became the catalyst and inspiration for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The National Trust is proud to stand with Congresswoman Sewell and advocate for the long-term protection of these places and the history they keep. A national historical park in Alabama has strong support from local and national stakeholders, including Birmingham’s Mayor William Bell and City Council, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the National Parks Conservation Association.

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