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However, the Birmingham protests soon became headlines due to the response of the city’s police However, even though there was evidence pointing to these four men as the perpetrator, the FBI, led by J.Edgar Hoover at the time, dragged its feet in the investigation and held evidence back.
The bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, was one of the deadliest acts of violence to take place during the Civil Rights movement and evoked criticism and outrage from around the world.
On the morning of September 15, 1963, as the congregation's children prepared for annual Youth Day celebrations, a bomb exploded in the stairwell of Sixteenth Street Baptist Church killing four girls and injuring dozens of others in the assembly.
In the aftermath of the bombing, riots and violent demonstrations broke out throughout Birmingham, resulting in the death of two young African American boys.
Following a tainted investigation by the FBI, Robert Chambliss, an active member of the Ku Klux Klan, was arrested and charged with murder and the possession of dynamite without a permit.
Herbert Oliver wrote a “Report on Birmingham,” making an appeal on behalf of the Inter-Citizens Committee to prospective supporters and documenting the violence that was consuming the city. In his words, “The savage, brutal, murderous, and ungodly bombing of Sixteenth Street Baptist Church . Those few terrifying moments of the blast said what we have been trying to say to the nation for years, that there exists in Alabama the most unconscionable disregard for man and God on the part of some.”A witness in the subsequent trial claimed that Robert Edward Chambliss, a member of the Ku Klux Klan, placed the bomb in the church. On the morning of the bombing I stood across the street from the church behind carbine bearing policemen and watched as the covered bodies were placed into waiting ambulances. I could not bring my mind to believe what my eyes saw.
The Inter-Citizens Committee was formed in April 1960 at Trinity Baptist Church in Birmingham by Oliver, Harold D. However, on October 8, 1963, Chambliss was found not guilty of murder and given a 0 fine for being in possession of 122 sticks of dynamite without a permit. It still seems like a tale from some distant land where people know nothing about freedom and democracy.Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.Join Britannica's Publishing Partner Program and our community of experts to gain a global audience for your work!These protests were relatively low key and weren’t very well attended.This was due to the fact that political rivalries between King’s organization, the SCLC, and other civil right’s organizations like CORE and the NAACP.Blanton was convicted in 2001 and Cherry in 2002 (Cherry died two years later).A fourth suspect, Herman Frank Cash, died in 1994 before he could be tried. In the film, Lee interviews witnesses to the bombing and family members of the victims while at the same time exploring the backdrop of segregation and white harassment that were central to the time period.This was due to the fact that Hoover wasn’t fond of Martin Luther King and some circles say that he personally believed the bombing to have been committed by people interested in gaining sympathy for the civil rights cause.Whatever the case may be, it wasn’t until 1977 that a conviction could be obtained for just one of the men accused of the bombing. In his report, Oliver catalogs seven other bombings and twelve instances of police brutality against African Americans in Birmingham from March to September 1963. The committee documented “cases of alleged rights violations, both official and non-official” from 1960 to 1965, sending their accounts, mainly by mail, to press and government representatives nationwide.