Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: June 02, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971928 | Print ISBN: 9781412950855 | Online ISBN: 9781412971928| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Bombing
On Sunday, September 15,1963, a bomb exploded under the steps of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. The explosion killed four African American girls, Denise McNair, 11 years old; Carole Robertson, age 14; Addie Mae Collins, age 14; and Cynthia Wesley, age 14. The four girls were killed instantly as the blast ripped through the church basement. Sarah Collins, age 12, was also inside the church but survived. She sustained severe injuries and was permanently blinded in one eye. Although the bombing of the church rocked Birmingham and the country, it was not the first bombing to happen in the city. Birmingham, Alabama, was notorious for racial bombings during this period, and was sometimes referred to as “Bombingham.” There were over two dozen unsolved bombings between the 1940s and 1960s, but no other bombing during this time was as catastrophic. This bombing appeared to be a response to ...