Monday afternoon we arrived at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. This is the site of a Klan bombing that took the lives of four young girls and badly injured a fifth.
It’s also the site from which the children of Birmingham and beyond gathered each day during a week of protests that led to thousands of children getting arrested. They were hosed down and beaten by “Bull” Connor’s deputies, and spent nights in overcrowded, filthy jails. Their efforts are considered a massive success, as it led to the desegregation of Birmingham and the removal of “Bull” Connor. Kennedy reacted to the protests by calling for the passing of what would become the Civil Rights Act of 1964.