Birmingham Civil Rights District
An American revolution took place in the streets of Birmingham in the 1960s. The city was a battlefield for America’s Civil Rights Movement. Begin your visit at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute to learn about the rise of the movement and the succession of events it bore around the nation. Across the street is Kelly Ingram Park, site of police dog and fire hose attacks on demonstrators gathered for peaceful protest. Statues throughout the park depict events of the 1963 struggle for equal rights. A free cell phone tour guides visitors through the turbulent time. The Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, just across from the park, is Birmingham’s most famous civil rights landmark. On a September Sunday morning in 1963, a bomb set by Ku Klux Klansmen ripped through the basement killing 11-year-old Denise McNair and Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley, and Addie Mae Collins, all 14 years old. Also within the national monument is Bethel Baptist Church, where civil rights icon, the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth, was pastor. The church parsonage was bombed in 1956. It is a miracle that Shuttlesworth and his family walked away unharmed. In order to maintain public safety, face coverings will be required for all staff and visitors, except for children 2 and under. Temperatures will be taken and any visitor showing signs of illness will be asked to visit at a later date. All public spaces have been sanitized and deep cleaning will continue every day. Social distancing guidelines will be followed.