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The year 1963 truly was momentous in our history, but particularly in the history of the civil rights movement. The place was Birmingham, Alabama, a city that at the time was one of the most segregated in America, and where violence against African Americans was all too commonplace.

Fifty years later, NTEU honors the legacies of the brave men and women who struggled for civil rights and fair treatment.

I have a dream


In August 1963, as many as 300,000 people gathered on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., calling for civil and economic rights for African Americans. On that day, Martin Luther King, Jr. told the American people that he had a dream.

Read about the civil rights movements in Birmingham, at the Martin Luther King Jr. Papers Project

Voices of the March on Washington (National Public Radio)

The March: In Images (Time Magazine)

Video of the the March on Washington (History Channel)

A Nation Reacts

  Bombing girls

On the morning of September 15, a bomb ripped through the 16th Street Baptist Church, killing four girls—Denise McNair, Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley and Carole Robertson—and injuring many others.

Sixteenth Street Baptist Church page at National Park Service

Photographs and newspaper clippings from the Birmingham Public Library digital collection

Birmingham church bombing timeline (CNN)

The History Channel explores the context and impact of the bombing

Voices Silenced

  Medgar Evers

On June 11, 1963, President Kennedy delivered an address urging Congress to enact civil rights legislation. Hours later, activist Medgar Evers was gunned down in his driveway. President Kennedy's voice would also be silenced later that year.


Read President Kennedy's Civil Rights speech

Get a close look at the Civil Rights Act of 1964

NAACP profile of Medgar Evers

Take a virtual tour of the Medgar Evers House (Mississippi Public Broadcasting)

One Block That Changed a Nation

Kelly Park  

Half a century ago, West Park was the assembly point for protests against segregation, and the streets around it literally became battlegrounds. Thousands of adults and children faced arrest, beatings, snarling police dogs and powerful streams of water from fire hoses.

See West Park, now named the Kelly Ingram Park, today (Alabama Travel)

Civil rights trail (Birmingham sites) at the National Park Service

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute



Jail Poster
Birmingham Jail Cell


Visit a gallery of NTEU's Black History Month posters from previous years.

Message from the President

  President Kelley

There was a time, a place, and a movement from which our nation emerged shaken, but changed and resolute, never to return to the old ways.

That is the message and the lesson of Black History Month 2013 on this, the 50th anniversary of events that ultimately made our country a better place. And that is what anniversaries are for—looking back, to learn even more about the path forward. More

Materials for the Workplace


"I Have a Dream," March on Washington

West Park
West Park

Voices Lost
Voices Lost
(Medgar Evers and President Kennedy)

NTEU Fights Discrimination
NTEU Fights Workplace Discrimination

16th Street Baptists Church flier
16th Street Baptist Church

MLK Flier
President Obama on the
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

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