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In one of his final acts as president, Barack Obama signed a proclamation naming the Birmingham Civil Rights District a national monument.   
The national monument encompasses historic sites in the downtown district that were significant to the revolution that took place in the streets of Birmingham in the 1960s.  One of those sites is the city’s most famous civil rights landmark, the 16th Street Baptist Church.  In the basement of the church on a September Sunday morning in 1963, a dynamite bomb set by Ku Klux Klansmen ripped through the side of the church killing four African-American schoolgirls.  Killed in the bombing were 11-year-old Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley and Addie Mae Collins, all 14 years old.   The bombing horrified the nation and the world and was a turning point in race relations in the country.
The national monument designation is expected to bring additional national and international attention to Birmingham’s pivotal role in America’s Civil Rights Movement.  The designation will also bring more than $1.5 million in grants from the National Park Service.  
 Included in the national monument district is Birmingham’s Bethel Baptist Church, credited with shaping the Civil Rights Movement here.  
Published : 27/01/2017

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