Corettta Scott King

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The 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing
On September 15th, 1963, a white man was seen getting out of a white and turquoise Chevrolet car and placing a box under the steps of the 16th Street Baptist Church. At around 10:30 there was an explosion killing four young girls. The victims of this tragedy were Denise McNair who was 11 years old, Addie Mae Collins who was 14, Carole Robertson who was 14 and Cynthia Wesley who was also 14. These four girls were attending Sunday school classes at the church when the bomb went off. There were also 23 other people hurt by the blast in various ways.

Many people accused George Wallace, the Governor of Alabama for the killings. A week before the bomb went off he made a remark about stopping segregation and that Alabama needed a “Few first-class funerals”. This was told to the New York Times a week before the bomb incident and was published. The man who actually placed the bomb was a man identified as Robert Chambliss a member of the Ku Klux Klan. He was arrested and charged with murder and possessing 122 sticks of dynamite without a permit. On October 8th, 1963, Chambliss was not found guilty of the murder but he was charged for having the dynamite sticks without a permit. He received a hundred dollar fine and six month jail sentence.

This case went unsolved until Bill Baxley was elected attorney general of Alabama. He requested the FBI files on the case and discovered there had been lots of evidence against Chambliss not used in the original trial. The pieces of evidence were not used in the original trial so that Chambliss could be not guilty.

On November, 1977 Chambliss was once tried again with the new evidence they had against him for the 16th street Baptist Church bombing. 14 years after the bombing happened he was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment. Chambliss died in prison in an Alabama prison on the 29th of October, 1985, at the age of 81. On May 17th, 2000, The Federal Bureau of...
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