On this day in Alabama history: Children’s Crusade launched in Birmingham

On this day in Alabama history: Children’s Crusade launched in Birmingham
Sculpture dedicated to the Foot Soldiers of the Birmingham Civil Rights Movement. Kelly Ingram Park, Birmingham, 2010. (The George F. Landegger Collection of Alabama Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith's America, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)

May 2, 1963

Civil rights leaders in Birmingham, including the Revs. Fred Shuttlesworth and Martin Luther King Jr. launched the controversial Children’s Crusade as part of the 1963 Birmingham campaign. The crusade enlisted thousands of black schoolchildren as demonstrators to generate media attention. After police arrested hundreds of students as young as 8 years old, City Commissioner “Bull” Connor ordered the use of fire hoses and police dogs to contain the protests. Images of the brutal use of force captured by the media helped to shift national support to the protesters and ultimately helped lead to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

 

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