A Look Back At Birmingham's Civil Rights Efforts
In January 2017, President Obama officially designated the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument, which encompasses several sites. Each one represents the courage, determination, and hope witnessed in the Alabama city, then and now.
The “Children’s Crusade” marches at Kelly Ingram Park are violently broken up by police. More than 1,000 protesters, mostly children and teenagers, are arrested.
A truce between white business leaders and the African-American community is reached in the courtyard of the A.G. Gaston Motel. The motel is bombed shortly afterward.
A bomb at 16th Street Baptist Church kills four African-American girls between the ages of 11 and 14.
Spurred largely by the events in Birmingham, President Johnson announces the passage of the Civil Rights Act, asking Americans to “pray for wise and understanding hearts.”
The National Trust names the A.G. Gaston Motel as part of its National Treasures program. Arthur George Gaston built the motel in 1954 to serve African-American guests. Civil rights leaders, including Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph Abernathy, held strategy sessions in one of its rooms, known as the “war room.”
Rep. Terri Sewell introduces bipartisan legislation, supported by the National Trust and Birmingham Mayor William Bell, that would designate Birmingham Civil Rights National Historical Park.
The Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument includes sites such as the A.G. Gaston Motel, Kelly Ingram Park, 16th Street Baptist Church, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, St. Paul United Methodist Church, and parts of the 4th Avenue Business District.