March 6, 1957
Civil rights activists Fred and Ruby Shuttlesworth challenged the segregation of the Birmingham Terminal Station, boarding a train without incident in front of an angry crowd. A Baptist minister by trade, Fred Shuttlesworth founded the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights in 1956 and led significant efforts in Birmingham throughout the civil rights movement. He attempted to desegregate the Birmingham Transit Authority, supported the Freedom Riders, and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). In 1963, Shuttlesworth initiated the Birmingham Campaign and worked with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and the SCLC to coordinate widely publicized demonstrations that helped lead to the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Today, the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport is named in his honor.
Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.