It was a pair of shoes, just a plain ordinary pair of Buster Brown shoes. That morning she had gotten up, ate breakfast, and dressed. Then she had fixed her hair, fasten the gold cross around her neck, the Ten Commandments bracelet around her wrist, slipped on her those oh so ordinary shoes, picked up her tiny Bible along with her small purse and just like she did every Sunday, walked to church. She walked down the stairs and into the church basement. It was youth Sunday, there were lots of other boys and girls there. She saw three of her friends and quickly joined them. School had just started and the girls excitedly chatted away, about all the things young girls talk about. It an ideal Sunday, a time for peace, a time where everything was perfect and no harm could come. Outside birds sang in the morning light, their song mixing with the chatter of the first young girls in the basement. The young girl who wore those shoes was safe here in God’s House. Then at 10:22 am the birds suddenly stopped singing and for the owner of those shoes, time would forever stand still. The shoes, and the other things mentioned above, can be seen at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, in Birmingham, Alabama. The site of the bombing, 16th Street Baptist Church is located across the street. The basement window where the bombing occurred is marked with a memorial to the four victims. It has been over 50 years since a box of dynamite planted near the basement of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, exploded, killing Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley and injuring more than 20 others, including Sarah Collins, Addie Mae’s younger sister. This was not the first nor was it the last bombing in the city that had become known as Bombingham. But it was a major turning point in the struggle for Civil Rights. The murder of innocent children shocked the nation, both Black and White. No longer could people stand by and do nothing.The shoes, and the other things mentioned above, can be seen at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, in Birmingham, Alabama. The site of the bombing, 16th Street Baptist Church is located across the street. The basement window where the bombing occurred is marked with a memorial to the four victims.
Looking for something to do this weekend. If you are near the town of Vernon, Alabama, check out A Night in Bethlehem, presented by Mt. Harmony Free Will Baptist Church. The church has done this presentation off and on for several years now. Visitors are “transported” back to the town of Bethlehem circa. 4 B.C. and experience life as it was during that time period. Each year is different, but some of the booths usually include, taste testing, perfume, olive wood, and a synagogue just to name a few. But be sure to watch out for those tax collecting Roman soldiers.
The event is free, but you must get there early. The dates are December 5-7 starting at 6 pm.
The church is located in the Hightogy community on Hwy 17 between Vernon and Millport, AL.