Nevada Appeal at 150: Sept. 16, 1963: Baptist church bombing devastates Birmingham | NevadaAppeal.com

Nevada Appeal at 150: Sept. 16, 1963: Baptist church bombing devastates Birmingham

Against a background of violence and death, a special federal grand jury was ordered to investigate racial outbreaks that continue to plague Birmingham.

U.S. Dist. Judge Clarence W. Allgood, in his charge to grand jury, emphasized the dynamite explosion at a Negro church which killed four children and injured 23 other persons.

In Washington, President Kennedy expressed “outrage and grief” over the bombing. The president said he hoped the tragedy would awaken the nation to the “folly of racial injustice and hatred and violence.”

A calm prevailed in Birmingham this morning, especially around the church and the three recently desegregated schools. There were no reports of violence.

Att. Gen. Robert F. Kennedy canceled two speaking engagements in Philadelphia to stay in his Washington office.

Allgood told the grand jury racial violence in the name of “tradition and freedom” is heresy.

This continues the Appeal’s review of news stories and headlines during its Sesquicentennial year.