January 10, 1957
Four black churches and two ministers’ homes were bombed in Montgomery, causing significant damage. All four churches — Bell Street Baptist, Hutchinson Street Baptist, First Street Baptist and Mount Olive — and the pastors, Ralph Abernathy and Robert Graetz, had actively supported the Montgomery bus boycott that had ended a month earlier. On Sunday, Jan. 13, 1957, the four congregations held services amid the debris. Two members of the Ku Klux Klan, Raymond Britt and Sonny Livingston, later confessed to the bombings and were indicted. Both were acquitted of all charges by an all-white jury while spectators cheered.
Read more at the Equal Justice Initiative.
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.