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Cynthia Wesley

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NEWS
May 7, 2001
Imagine: A bustling urban gathering place, filled on a sunny morning. A bomb is planted, in service of a twisted political vision. An explosion. Terror and tears. Children dead; children whose parents had lovingly combed their hair an hour before, blown to bits by hate. When this nightmare occurred in Oklahoma City in 1995, the FBI deployed with maniacal urgency. Within days, Terry Nichols and Timothy McVeigh had been captured. But try to imagine this scenario: The FBI, having developed a pile of evidence pointing toward the killers, just buries it in a regional office file drawer.
NEWS
May 24, 2002
The importance of Wednesday's conviction of the last racist suspect in the 1963 bombing of a Birmingham, Ala., church, which left four young black girls dead, should be obvious. But 39 years later - when TV news reports give more minutes to the discovery of a missing Washington intern's bones - one wonders if it is. Four decades have passed since the civil-rights movement reached a crescendo in Alabama's largest city. Has that allowed the rest of America to forget what it was like back then?
NEWS
May 10, 2013 | By Henry C. Jackson, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Four victims of a deadly Alabama church bombing at the height of the civil rights movement are now just a presidential signature away from receiving Congress' highest civilian honor. The Senate on Thursday approved by voice vote a measure that would posthumously award the Congressional Gold Medal to Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley, and Denise McNair. The Senate approval of the measure comes after the House in April voted 420-0 to award the medal to the girls.
NEWS
May 3, 2001 | By Acel Moore
I remember as if it were yesterday. On Sept. 15, 1963, the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., was bombed, an event historians call a watershed in the civil-rights movement. What stamped this crime in memory was its raw brutality. Four little girls died in the blast, four girls helping prepare for an upcoming service. Even though 38 years have passed, I can clearly remember the tears of sadness and anger among my family and many others who watched the television coverage and read newspaper accounts.
NEWS
September 12, 1997 | by Tonya Pendleton, Daily News Staff Writer
Spike Lee's greatest legacy may not be as a filmmaker. When all is said and done, he may be best remembered as a historian. His latest work, "Four Little Girls," is the documentary account of the 1963 Birmingham, Ala., church bombing that killed four young women. The film is a sensitively nuanced look at a tragedy that, in the end, served to mobilize civil-rights efforts in Alabama. In 1963, efforts to desegregate lunch counters in Birmingham were well under way. Town leaders led by the infamous Bull Connor and the Ku Klux Klan used force to intimidate civil-rights workers and return things to the status quo. High-school-age children who helped lead protests were jailed, and blacks were arrested, hosed and chased by dogs.
NEWS
May 19, 2000
Murders going unsolved? Sadly, it happens all the time - to the anguish of victims' families and communities. But the decades-old mystery surrounding the 1963 bombing of a black church in Birmingham, Ala. - where four girls perished in their white Sunday dresses - goes beyond that. It was more than an ache for one group of families, one city with a tortured place in the civil rights struggle. It was an open wound for the nation. Long gone is the Jim Crow South. But dozens of acts of racial violence that marred the rights era remain open cases - with the perpetrators free.
NEWS
April 2, 1998 | By Gregory P. Kane
Birmingham, Ala. Sept. 15, 1963. Four little girls. It was almost 35 years ago that Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church was bombed. Denise McNair, only 11 years old, and three Sunday school classmates - Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley and Carole Robertson, all 14 - were killed. All decent Americans were shocked, outraged and heartbroken by the act. Jonesboro, Ark. March 24, 1998. Four little girls. It was just last week that two boys sprayed a hail of bullets into their classmates and teachers outside Westside Middle School.
NEWS
May 4, 2001 | By Elmer Smith
They led Thomas Blanton Tuesday from the courthouse to a jailhouse, where this baby-killing lowlife will be caged for the rest of his unnatural life. I hope he lives to be 100. Yes, I oppose the death penalty even for a craven coward like Blanton, who planted the dynamite that destroyed the lives of four innocent little girls in Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church in 1963. Instead of the momentary satisfaction that may come to survivors of the Oklahoma City bombing victims who watch Timothy McVeigh die peacefully next week, I'd sooner see Blanton become a national monument.
NEWS
May 21, 2000 | By Harold Jackson
Closure. The district attorney who will prosecute two old men indicted in the 1963 church bombing that killed four little girls in Birmingham, Ala., believes their convictions will finally provide closure for everyone touched by the heinous crime. "Anytime you can bring closure to something like this, you want to do it," Jefferson County, Ala., District Attorney David Barber said Wednesday following the arrests of bombing suspects Thomas E. Blanton Jr., 61, and Bobby Frank Cherry, 69. Barber is wrong, of course.
NEWS
May 18, 2000 | By Richard Lezin Jones, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
More than three decades after first being identified as suspects, two former Ku Klux Klansmen surrendered yesterday in connection with the 1963 bombing of a black church in Birmingham, Ala., that claimed the lives of four girls and galvanized the nation's civil rights movement. Thomas E. Blanton Jr., 61, of Birmingham, and Bobby Frank Cherry, 69, of Mabank, Texas, surrendered to authorities yesterday after their indictment late Tuesday by an Alabama grand jury on eight counts of murder - two counts for each of the four victims: one for the intentional murder of each child and one for "universal malice," because the bomb was placed where it threatened others.
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NEWS
June 26, 2015 | By Frank Fitzpatrick, Inquirer Staff Writer
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - They'd been learning about this place and the terrible history it holds for months. So when the Anderson Monarchs entered 16th Street Baptist Church at 10:15 a.m. Wednesday, nearly the exact time a deadly bomb exploded there on Sept. 15, 1963, they did so as solemnly as mourners. Almost immediately in this place they were told was "hallowed ground," their wide eyes were drawn upward to a spot high on a sanctuary wall. There the projected faces of the four black girls killed in that horrific act 52 years ago smiled down upon them like welcoming angels.
TRAVEL
September 16, 2013 | By Marilyn Jones, For The Inquirer
Birmingham is a vibrant, modern city with first-class attractions and entertainment, continually offering itself up for comparison with other major metropolitan areas. The largest city in Alabama, it has major colleges of medicine, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, law, engineering, and nursing. But what's most unique about Birmingham is its beginning. This planned post-Civil War Reconstruction city was founded in 1871, a monument to industrial imagination and urban planning. Founding fathers situated their dream city at the crossing of two railroad lines where the components for iron and steel production - coal, iron ore, and limestone - were in abundance.
NEWS
September 15, 2013 | BY VALERIE RUSS, Daily News Staff Writer russv@phillynews.com, 215-854-5987
THE REV. Arthur Price Jr., pastor of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., was born in Philadelphia just two years after the church was forever linked with one of the darkest days in the nation's civil-rights history. That morning, Sept. 15, 1963, a bomb blast at 10:22 a.m. killed four young girls who were in Sunday School. The girls - Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley, all 14, and Denise McNair, 11 - were in a restroom combing their hair and getting ready for Youth Day services at 11 a.m. But 20 pounds of dynamite, set off by men affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan, shattered the church basement, sending bricks and glass flying everywhere.
NEWS
May 10, 2013 | By Henry C. Jackson, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Four victims of a deadly Alabama church bombing at the height of the civil rights movement are now just a presidential signature away from receiving Congress' highest civilian honor. The Senate on Thursday approved by voice vote a measure that would posthumously award the Congressional Gold Medal to Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley, and Denise McNair. The Senate approval of the measure comes after the House in April voted 420-0 to award the medal to the girls.
NEWS
May 24, 2002
The importance of Wednesday's conviction of the last racist suspect in the 1963 bombing of a Birmingham, Ala., church, which left four young black girls dead, should be obvious. But 39 years later - when TV news reports give more minutes to the discovery of a missing Washington intern's bones - one wonders if it is. Four decades have passed since the civil-rights movement reached a crescendo in Alabama's largest city. Has that allowed the rest of America to forget what it was like back then?
NEWS
May 7, 2001
Imagine: A bustling urban gathering place, filled on a sunny morning. A bomb is planted, in service of a twisted political vision. An explosion. Terror and tears. Children dead; children whose parents had lovingly combed their hair an hour before, blown to bits by hate. When this nightmare occurred in Oklahoma City in 1995, the FBI deployed with maniacal urgency. Within days, Terry Nichols and Timothy McVeigh had been captured. But try to imagine this scenario: The FBI, having developed a pile of evidence pointing toward the killers, just buries it in a regional office file drawer.
NEWS
May 4, 2001 | By Elmer Smith
They led Thomas Blanton Tuesday from the courthouse to a jailhouse, where this baby-killing lowlife will be caged for the rest of his unnatural life. I hope he lives to be 100. Yes, I oppose the death penalty even for a craven coward like Blanton, who planted the dynamite that destroyed the lives of four innocent little girls in Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church in 1963. Instead of the momentary satisfaction that may come to survivors of the Oklahoma City bombing victims who watch Timothy McVeigh die peacefully next week, I'd sooner see Blanton become a national monument.
NEWS
May 3, 2001 | By Acel Moore
I remember as if it were yesterday. On Sept. 15, 1963, the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., was bombed, an event historians call a watershed in the civil-rights movement. What stamped this crime in memory was its raw brutality. Four little girls died in the blast, four girls helping prepare for an upcoming service. Even though 38 years have passed, I can clearly remember the tears of sadness and anger among my family and many others who watched the television coverage and read newspaper accounts.
NEWS
May 21, 2000 | By Harold Jackson
Closure. The district attorney who will prosecute two old men indicted in the 1963 church bombing that killed four little girls in Birmingham, Ala., believes their convictions will finally provide closure for everyone touched by the heinous crime. "Anytime you can bring closure to something like this, you want to do it," Jefferson County, Ala., District Attorney David Barber said Wednesday following the arrests of bombing suspects Thomas E. Blanton Jr., 61, and Bobby Frank Cherry, 69. Barber is wrong, of course.
NEWS
May 19, 2000
Murders going unsolved? Sadly, it happens all the time - to the anguish of victims' families and communities. But the decades-old mystery surrounding the 1963 bombing of a black church in Birmingham, Ala. - where four girls perished in their white Sunday dresses - goes beyond that. It was more than an ache for one group of families, one city with a tortured place in the civil rights struggle. It was an open wound for the nation. Long gone is the Jim Crow South. But dozens of acts of racial violence that marred the rights era remain open cases - with the perpetrators free.
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