16th Street Baptist Church Bombing
When a bomb made of dynamite detonated at 10:22 AM on Sept. 15, 1963, church members were attending Sunday school classes before the start of the 11 AM church service. The bomb exploded on the east side of the building, where five girls were getting ready for church in a basement restroom. The explosion sprayed mortar and bricks from the front of the building, caved in walls, and filled the interior with smoke, and horrified parishioners quickly evacuated. Beneath piles of debris in the church basement, the dead bodies of four girls—Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, and Carole Robertson, all age 14, and Denise McNair (age 11)—were discovered. A fifth girl who had been with them, Sarah Collins (the younger sister of Addie Mae Collins), lost her right eye in the explosion, and several other people were injured.
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