1963 Year of Birmingham
In 1963 the world turned its attention to Birmingham, Alabama as peaceful civil rights demonstrators faced police dogs and fire hoses in a battle for freedom and equality. Later that year four girls died in the bombing of Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. "It was the year of Birmingham," Martin Luther King, Jr. said at the time. Today, Birmingham is now recognized around the world as a symbol of both racial intolerance and racial reconciliation.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Birmingham's civil rights struggle, the Birmingham Public Library is sponsoring the Year of Birmingham, a 12-month series of lectures, documentary films, performances and panel discussions.

Letter From Birmingham Jail
Letter From Birmingham Jail Logo

On April 16th, 2013, the 50th anniversary of the day that Martin Luther King, Jr. began writing his Letter from Birmingham Jail, participants worldwide read King's Letter in celebration. Participants hosted public readings from the Letter at various locations around the globe.

Read more about his worldwide event. Photographs and videos of many of the locations are also available for viewing.
Press Coverage

Submit a Photo

Civil Rights Protest

The Library is collecting snapshots for an online collection.


BhamWiki: Birmingham in 1963

1963: How the Birmingham Civil Rights Movement Changed America and the world

City of Birmingham Fifty Years Forward
UAB: Fifty Years Forward

Read It Forward

Read It Forward Flyer

The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963

by Christopher Paul Curtis

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Online Collections

Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Bombing

Birmingham City Council Scrapbooks (newspaper articles)
Chambliss, Robert
Civil Rights Movement Photographs
Connor, Bull
(Link to his papers is not included. See link below)
Interviews with Civil Rights Activists
King, Martin Luther Jr.
Ku Klux Klan Scrapbook
(newspaper articles)
Shuttlesworth, Fred L
Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Bombing
Theophilus Eugene Bull Connor Papers



Page Last Modified: 3/18/2021 8:11 AM