TODAY'S PAPER
33° Good Morning
33° Good Morning
NewsNew York

Remembering a tragedy that led to the 1964 Civil Rights Act

Mr. and Mrs. McNair watch as their daughter,

Mr. and Mrs. McNair watch as their daughter, Denise, and three other girls are posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. Credit: Denise McNair, and three other girls were posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. (Getty)

Fifty years after a bomb ripped through a Sunday school, killing four girls and rocking a racially divided nation, the city of Birmingham, Ala., is commemorating the tragedy that led to the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

“It is a sad story, but there is a joy that came out of it,” said Sarah Collins Rudolph, who survived the blast at the 16th Street Baptist Church. Her 14-year-old sister, Addie Mae Collins, was among the victims of the Ku Klux Klan bomb.

Yesterday, the church’s bell tolled in remembrance of Collins, Denise McNair, 11, and Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley, both 14.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holderand former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who had been a childhood playmate of one of the victims, spoke at a ceremony focusing on the progress in race relations in the decades since.
 

Comments

We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

More news