1977 November 18

KKK Member Convicted in 1963 Birmingham, AL, Church Bombing

 

Klansman Robert “Dynamite Bob” Chambliss was convicted on this day of the September 15, 1963, murder of four girls at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama — 14 years after the murder. Birmingham in the 1960s had the nickname “Bombingham” because of so many terrorist bombings directed at civil rights activism (see May 10, 1963). FBI had information on the suspect but, by orders from FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, refused to provide it to prosecutors at the time. It was not until new prosecutors reopened the case in 1971 and demanded the information that it was handed over; the information helped in the conviction.

A week before the 1963 bombing, Alabama George Wallace had told The New York Times that to stop integration, Alabama needed a “few first-class funerals.”

See the Spike Lee Documentary: 4 Little Girls (1997)

Watch a short documentary on “Bombingham”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-MuWDsv5pg

Learn more: Diane McWhorter, Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama: The Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution (2001)

Hear Joan Baez sing “Birmingham Sunday”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQ0y-vO9QLE

Learn about the KKK today: http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/ideology/ku-klux-klan

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