Remembering Four Little Girls Killed in Birmingham Church Bombing 50 Years Ago

By Chris Hoenig

At 10:22 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 15, 1963, time literally froze at a Birmingham, Ala., church. A stack of dynamite—planted under a stairway by members of the Ku Klux Klan—exploded, leveling one side of the church and killing four young girls.

At 10:22 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013, siblings and other relatives of Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley were in the pews at the 16th Street Baptist Church, where Reverend Arthur Price delivered the same sermon the girls would have heard during their Sunday-school lesson: “A Love That Forgives.” Among them was Sarah Collins Rudolph, Addie Mae Collins’ sister, who spent three months in the hospital and lost her right eye as a result of the bombing.

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