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

Find a Day

Abortion Rights ACLU african-americans Alice Paul anti-communism Anti-Communist Hysteria Birth Control Brown v. Board of Education Censorship CIA Civil Rights Civil Rights Act of 1964 Cold War Espionage Act FBI First Amendment Fourteenth Amendment freedom of speech Free Speech Gay Rights Hate Speech homosexuality Hoover, J. Edgar HUAC Japanese American Internment King, Dr. Martin Luther Ku Klux Klan Labor Unions Lesbian and Gay Rights Loyalty Oaths McCarthy, Sen. Joe New York Times Obscenity Police Misconduct Same-Sex Marriage Separation of Church and State Sex Discrimination Smith Act Spying Spying on Americans Vietnam War Voting Rights Voting Rights Act of 1965 War on Terror Watergate White House Women's Rights Women's Suffrage World War I World War II Relocation Camps


Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear your comments, criticisms and suggestions!