60 Years Ago Today: Police Attack Children’s Crusade with Dogs & Water Cannons in Birmingham, Alabama


Seg2 birminghamchildrenscrusade hose

Sixty years ago today is known as “D-Day” in Birmingham, Alabama, when thousands of children began a 10-week-long series of protests against segregation that became known as the Children’s Crusade. Hundreds were arrested. The next day, “Double D-Day,” the local head of the police, Bull Connor, ordered his white police force to begin using high-pressure fire hoses and dogs to attack the children. One photograph captured the moment when a white police officer allowed a large German shepherd dog to attack a young Black boy. Four months after the protests began, the Ku Klux Klan bombed a Black Birmingham church, killing four young girls — Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley and Denise McNair. We revisit the history of the Children’s Crusade with two guests: civil rights activist Janice Kelsey, who joined the Children’s Crusade as a 16-year-old in 1963, and author Paul Kix.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.