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Reconstruction Period Research Forum

Congressional Recognition 41 Yrs Later

Congress recognizes tragedy after 41 years

WASHINGTON -- More than four decades after a racially charged church bombing in Birmingham, Congress on Wednesday officially recognized the tragedy that helped create momentum for the civil rights movement.

The resolution, sponsored in the House by Alabama Democrat Artur Davis, honored not only the four girls killed in the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing but also the recent effort by law enforcement to bring the killers to justice.

The House passed the measure by a voice vote, and the Senate was poised to follow with its own resolution sponsored by Republicans Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions.

"The irony is the people who bombed that church thought they would frustrate the civil rights movement," Davis said. "The reality is their acts of violence encouraged people, inspired people."

"This terrible event marked a dark day for Birmingham, and I think it is appropriate that we acknowledge its significance, honor the memory of the four little girls and commend those who brought the perpetrators to justice," Sessions said.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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