Birmingham Riots By: allie Stamos

Background Info

Aftermath of a bombing in Birmingham (1963)

Birmingham was known for being the worst city for racism and segregation. This was mostly because of police officer, Eugene Connor, and the bombings of the church. Birmingham soon became the main focus for civil rights. The riots started in 1963 in Birmingham, Alabama. The rioting lasted for 8 days, May 2 to May 10.


The event was trying to accomplish civil rights and for everyone to be treated the same. The riots were towards the law not allowing segregation to actual be enforced.

People Involved

Everyone involved in the riots were mostly the police and protestors. Some important people that impacted the event were Eugene "Bull" Connor and Martin Luther King Jr. Eugene Connor was the head of the police and the most violent. He was the one that lead the attacks on protestors.Both SNCC and the NAACP were relatively inactive in Birmingham; so any civil rights campaign could be lead by SCLC without too much rivalry. Martin Luther King’s brother was also a pastor in the city so family connections helped the role of SCLC.

Martin Luther Jr. giving a speech in Alabama

Obstacles To Overcome

Groups that were protesting faced a lot of obstacles. Police dogs were released on them and would bite them, they were sprayed with fire hoses, and beat up by policemen. There were also bombings at a church after the protesting causing in killing 4 little girls. Figuring that even Connor wouldn’t cross this line, King was the one to send children ranging in age from six to 18 marching through the streets for freedom. Eugene Connor didn't care, he had imprisoned 959 youthful protesters. Quietly capitulated and negotiated a settlement that was stunning for its time, they agreed to desegregate lunch counters and fitting rooms. They agreed to remove “Whites Only” signs from drinking fountains and restrooms. They agreed to hire more African-Americans

Police attacking protestors (1963)


Lasting effects are not having segregated areas and enforcing the nondiscrimination law. This event impacts today because it gives people a voice and shows how you can stand up for yourself and your rights.

Modern Inequality

One way the Birmingham Riots can relate to today is the police brutality. In 2014, Michael Brown was shot multiple times by a police officer and everyone started rioting over it. A lot of people assumed it was a race issue so this led to riots throughout the city of Ferguson.

People destroying the city of Ferguson (2014)

Works Cited

History Learning Site (n.d.). Birmingham 1963 - History Learning Site. History Learning Site. Retrieved from

Corky Siemaszko, Siemaszko (3 May 2012.). Birmingham erupted into chaos in 1963 as battle for civil rights exploded in South. NY Daily News. Retrieved from

Cassandra Vinograd (11 Aug. 2014.). Shooting of Michael Brown Sparks Riots in Ferguson, Missouri - NBC News. NBC News. Retrieved from

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