Today marks 57 years that 11-year-old Denise McNair, and 14-year-olds Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley were killed by Klansmen, Robert Chambliss, known as Dynamite Bob, Bobby Frank Cherry, and Thomas Edwin Blanton, Jr.
Birmingham, AL was nicknamed "Bombingham." It's estimated that there were over 50 bombings in Birmingham from the 1940s-1960s. The bombings were to rebel against African Americans who were attempting to move into the white neighborhood. Center Street was known as Dynamite Hill and the color line for blacks and white. The whites lived on the west side of Center Street. Unafraid, black families moved into the white neighborhood. They endured the KKK shootings, burning, and bombing their homes.
The 16th Street Baptist Church was built in 1911. The church had served as the headquarters of rallies and civil rights mass meetings during Jim Crow.
On September 15th, the four little girls and Sarah Collins Rudolph were at the 16th Street Baptist Church in the bathroom. It was Youth Day and the girls were happy and excited about their upcoming school year. Carolyn Maull McKinstry, the Sunday School church secretary answered the phone in the church office, and a caller said "three minutes" and hung up. McKinstry, a teenager, didn't know what the phone call meant. At 10:22 a.m. as she was walking into the sanctuary after hanging up the phone, the bomb exploded. Between 15-20 sticks of dynamite injured several church members, damaged the church, and destroyed cars.
(Bathroom window where the four little girls were when they were murdered).