Year of Birmingham: 1963

By BPL
  • George C. Wallace sworn in as Alabama Governor

    Inaugural address of Governor George Wallace George C. Wallace is sworn in as governor of Alabama. He declares segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.
  • Injunction Petition filed against Birmingham Election Commission to stop March 5 Birmingham Election

  • Mayor Arthur J. Hanes is unable to stop March 5 Mayor-Council City Election

    Mayor Arthur J. Hanes is unable to stop March 5 Mayor-Council City Election
    "Legal Barrier to Election Swept Aside" <i>Birmingham Post-Herald</i>
  • Election of Birmingham Mayor Leads to Runoff

    Election of Birmingham Mayor Leads to Runoff
    Post-Herald article 6 March 1963 Albert Boutwell receives 39 percent of the vote for Birmingham Mayor and Bull Connor receives 31 percent. Runoff is set for April 2.
  • Bomb Destroys African American Residence and Damages Surrounding Buildings

  • Boutwell Elected City Mayor

    Boutwell Elected City Mayor
    Post-Herald April 3, 1963 article Boutwell defeats Connor for Mayor of Birmingham. He wins by 8000 votes.
  • Sit-in Demonstrations at Downtown Birmingham Lunch Counters

    Sit-in Demonstrations at Downtown Birmingham Lunch Counters
  • Sit-in Demonstrators arrested at Lane Drugstore and Tutwiler Drugstore

    Sit-in Demonstrators arrested at Lane Drugstore and Tutwiler Drugstore
  • March from A.G. Gaston Motel toward City Hall is led by Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth

    March from A.G. Gaston Motel toward City Hall is led by Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth
    Montgomery Advertiser article "Birmingham Police Nab 32 Negroes" Police stopped the march and arrested 32 people.
  • Rev. A.D. King, Rev. Nelson Smith, and Rev. John Porter lead Palm Sunday March

    Rev. A.D. King, Rev. Nelson Smith, and Rev. John Porter lead Palm Sunday March
    Birmingham Post-Herald 4-8-63 The march began at St. Paul Methodist Church. Police dogs broke up the crowd of onlookers.
  • Sit-ins Attempted but Lunch Counters are Closed

    The police arrest 27 protesters.
  • Court-ordered Injuction sent to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Civil Rights Leaders

    The injuction is against "boycotting, trespassing, parading, picketing, sit-ins, wade-ins, and inciting or encouraging such acts."
  • March in Defiance of the Court-ordered Injuction led by Dr. King, Rev. Abernathy and Shuttlesworth

    Dr. King is arrested and while in jail writes his "Letter from Birmingham Jail."
  • Easter Sunday Blacks Attend Churches at White Churches and Many Turned Away

    March of 1,000 people to City Hall is stopped by police and 32 people are arrested.
  • 15 Black Women and a Pastor Arrested While Marching to Register to Vote at the Courhouse.

  • City Council Commissioners Transfer All Authority to Themselves and Refuse to Turnover Power

  • Two Sit-ins at Lunch Counters

  • 11 Protesters Arrested at the Lunch Counter of the 2121 Building

  • 25 Protesters Arrested at Pizitz, Britt's, Atlantic Mills, and Tillman Levenson

  • 15 Blacks Attend White Church Services

  • Lunch Counter Sit-ins occur at Woolworth's, H. L. Green and Britt's.

  • 11 Civil Rights Leaders Sentenced to 5 Days in Jail and $50 Fines for Contempt of Court for Ignoring the April 11 Injunction

  • Demonstrations by Children Against the Police Department and Commissioner Bull Connor

    Around 1,000 children arrested.
  • Children Continue to Demonstrate. Bull Connor Uses Police Dogs and Water Hoses on the Demonstrators

  • Children Continue to Demonstrate. Bull Connor Uses Police Dogs and Water Hoses on the Demonstrators

  • Mass Rally at New Pilgrim Baptist Church

    Rally marches to the Southside jail and demonstrates across from the jail at Memorial Park.
  • Arrests of Children and Adults Gathered at Sixteenth Street Baptist Church

  • Children Demonstrate and Shuttlesworth hospitalized

    Fire hoses directed at Shuttlesworth standing on the steps of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church causing injury to Shuttlesworth.
  • Demonstrations Suspended. Civil Rights Leaders Believe White Businesses are Working to Take Care of Issues of Concern

  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Sidney Smyer Reach Agreement to End Demonstrations and Have a Cooling-off Period

  • A. G. Gaston Motel and Home of Rev. A. D. King Bombed

    A. G. Gaston Motel and Home of Rev. A. D. King Bombed
    <a href='http://bplonline.cdmhost.com/cdm/ref/collection/BPLSB02/id/657' >"Rampaging Mobs In Pre-Dawn Riots" <i>Montgomery Advertiser</i> 13 May 1963</a> Three people at the motel are injured.
  • President Kennedy Sends U.S. Troops to Preserve Order in Birmingham

    Riot Control trained troups sent to military bases near Birmingham and pledges that the federal government will "do whatever must be done" to keep order in Birmingham.
  • Birmingham Board of Education Expels 1,081 Black Students Arrested in Demonstrations

  • Federal Judge Rules Children Illegally Expelled and Orders Children Back to School

  • Alabama Supreme Court Supports Voters Decision to Change to Mayor-Council Form of Government in Birmingham

  • Over 1,000 Black Students Return to Class Under a Federal Judge's Order

  • U.S. District Judge Seybourn H. Lynne Refuses to Order Birmingham Schools Desegregated

  • Birmingham Parks and Recreation Board Votes to Reopen Some Golf Courses

  • Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Orders Birmingham to Start Public Schools Desegregation by Fall

  • Public Schools Desegregation Ends in Disorder After Speakers Drowned Out

  • Birmingham City Council Unanimously Repeals All Segregation Ordinances in City's General Code

  • U. S. Justice Department Files Suit Against Jefferson County Board of Registrars

    Suit is filed to require board to accept the over 2,000 black voter applicants rejected due to failed county qualification tests.
  • Judge Clarence Allgood Approves Birmingham Board of Education's Desegregation Plan

    Plan is schools to begin integrating 12th grade classes.
  • Attorney Arthur D. Shores Home is Damaged by Exploding Bomb

  • Attorneys Ask Federal Court to Order Board of Education To Desegregate All Grade Levels in the Fall

  • Birmingham School Board Announce Three Schools to Be Desegregated

    West End High School, Ramsay High School and Graymont Elementary School are the three schools to be desegregated. Only five blacks are to be enrolled.
  • Bomb Damages Home of Attorney Shores and Mrs. Shores is Injured

  • Police Battle White Demonstrators at Graymont Elementary and Ramsay High School

  • Black Businessman A. G. Gaston's Home is Firebombed

  • 5 State Schools, Including Birmingham, Barred from Accepting Blacks

    Governor Wallace bars black students from schools in Birmingham, Tuskegee, and Mobile. Students blocked by Alabama State Troopers.
  • Alabama National Guard Federalized by President Kennedy

    Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara is ordered by President Kennedy to use armed forces to enforce school desegregation in Alabama.
  • Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Bombed and 4 Girls Killed

    Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson, Addie Mae Collins, and Denise McNair killed by bomb.
  • Carole Robertson's Funeral Service Held at St. John's A.M.E. Church

  • Cynthia Wesley, Addie Mae Collins, and Denise McNair's Funeral Service Held at Sixth Avenue Baptis Church

  • The Birmingham News Publishes a Full-page Ad Asking Council to Hire Black Policemen

    88 mostly white civic leaders and residents have the ad published.
  • 116 Black Birmingham Residents Publish Full-page Ad in The Birmingham News

    The Ad is titled "Birmingham's Moment of Crisis: A Statement of Concern and Conviction" and asks city to take action and address the tense racial climate.
  • Proposal for Hiring Black Policemen Rejected By City Council

  • President Kennedy is Assassinated in Dallas