May 1, 2001
After less than three hours of deliberations, a jury found Thomas Blanton guilty of four counts of first degree murder, and sentenced him to life imprisonment.
May 17, 2000
Thomas Blanton and Bobby Frank Cherry surrendered after an Alabama grand jury indicted them on first-degree murder charges. They have also been charged with four counts of "universal malice." At his press conference, U.S. Attorney Doug Jones said "We have additional information, and we expect the evidence today to be a good bit different than 36 years ago."
September 15, 1963
11-year-old Denise McNair and three 14-year-olds: Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Addie Mae Collins were killed when a dynamite bomb exploded at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. The girls had been in a basement dressing room, discussing their first days at school and preparing for the 11:00am Adult Service. The church had been a center for many civil rights rallies and meetings, and after the tragedy, it became a focal point drawing many moderate whites into the civil rights movement.
By the end of the day, riots and fires had broken out throughout Birmingham and another 2 teenagers were dead.
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