On September 15, 1963 Johnny Robinson, age 16, was shot in the back by Birmingham police officer Jack Parker firing from a squad car. Others in the car said the driver going over a bump or hitting his brakes could have caused Parker to fire. Other witnesses heard two shots. Robinson's family never talked about his death, and his brother and sister went to school the next day. Another youth, Virgil Ware, 13, was also killed in the aftermath of the church bombing. #TodayInBlackHistory
Police use dogs to quell civil unrest in Birmingham, Ala., in May 1963. Birmingham's police commissioner "Bull" Connor also allowed fire hoses to be turned on young civil rights demonstrators. These measures set off a backlash of sentiment that rejuvenated the flagging civil rights movement.
Amelia Boynton Robinson lays beaten and tear gassed on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. She was attempting, along with up to 600 other marchers, to cross the bridge from Selma to Montgomery, but the marchers were stopped and beaten by police, March 7, 1965 Photo credit: Bettmann / Corbis — in Selma, Alabama.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his "Letter from Birmingham Jail" after being arrested and booked on April 12, 1963. King's heartfelt letter is considered the preeminent document of the civil rights movement, appearing in hundreds of anthologies and designated as required reading for many students worldwide. It has been translated into 40 languages. (Birmingham Police Department Photo)