Birmingham Church Bombing Victims Honored By Congress
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
Fifty years ago this Sunday, four African-American girls died when the Ku Klux Klan bombed a church in Alabama.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
The explosion at Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church was a seminal moment in the Civil Rights Movement. It horrified the nation and helped spur passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
SIEGEL: Today, the girls received one of the nation's highest civilian awards, the Congressional Gold Medal. House Speaker John Boehner led the ceremony.
REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER: Birmingham had to go through hell but found its way back and pushed itself forward and pushed the whole country forward as well.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (Singing) Don't let your burdens get you down...
CORNISH: The four girls were Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley, all 14 years old, and Denise McNair, who was 11.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (Singing) I know you could not do...
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.