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EDITORIAL/Four Girls: It's been 60 years since tragic church bombing in Birmingam

September 14, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.

Birmingham, Ala., was at the center of the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s.

And at the center of Birmingham's fight for justice was the 16th Street Baptist church. The church held a prominent place in the city's African American community. And it was the site of many trainings for civil rights workers and meetings by the movement's leaders.

Something that did not go unnoticed by the terrorists in the Ku Klux Klan.

It was Sunday, Sept, 15, 1963. Four KKK members planted at least 15 sticks of dynamite under the church steps near the basement. The bomb was fixed with a timer.

At 10:22 a.m. a call was placed to the church. When answered, the caller said two words -- "Three minutes."

The caller was off because in less than a minute an explosion rocked the building.

The church was heavily damaged and the blast was felt blocks away. But the worst was yet to come.

Four young girls -- Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley, all 14, and Carol Denise McNair, just 11 -- were killed. More than 20 others were injured at the scene.

There had been many other violent acts during the civil rights struggle. Many deaths. But few drew so much attention, so much anger from black and white citizens alike as the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing.

It didn't take long to figure out who was involved. There were four main suspects. But prosecuting the brutal killer would be a lot more difficult.

It wasn't until 1977 that one of the four suspects was tried and convicted Robert Chamblis, known as "Dynamite Bob." He got life. He died in prison in 1985

Thomas Blanton was convicted in 2001 and was also sentenced to life. He died behind bars in 2020.

A third suspect, Bobby Frank Cherry., was tried the next year, convicted and also received life. He died in 2004.

The fourth suspect, Herman Cash, died in 1994 before charges could be brought.

It's been 60 years since that tragic day in 1963. Four innocent young girls savagely murdered in the cause of white supremacy. A dark spot on our nation's history.

We should never forget those four young girls. And we should do whatever we can to ensure nothing like this ever happens again.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Question of the Week will return next Friday.

Last Week: Driverless Vehicles? Last week's question was about autonomous, driverless vehicles. Are you comfortable sharing the road with driverless vehicles? Or are you against allowing them on public roads and highways?

From Most of these driverless vehicles that are sharing driving data. Imagine if you had 1000 trucks on the road. 24/7 for 1 year. That is 63,330,000 hours of driving experience. If a human drove 8 hours a day for 365 days a year that would only be 2,920 hours. Over 40 years. 116,800 hours of driving experience. It's not even a comparison. So far these self driving vehicles have only made a single driving fatality. After billions of driving hours. We have far more to fear from a 16 year old with a new license than anything driverless.

Dumbest thing ever!

No I am not comfortable

Print Headline: EDITORIAL/Four Girls: It's been 60 years since tragic church bombing in Birmingam


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