May 2, 1963: The Birmingham Campaign’s Children’s Crusade Begins
On this day in 1963, the Children’s Crusade began as hundreds of students walked out of their classrooms to peacefully protest segregation laws in Birmingham, Alabama. They were met by police officers who were ready to escort them to jail, and later by high pressure fire hoses and police dogs.
It would become a major catalyst for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and usher a new era of freedom and equality in the United States.
Revisit this moment in civil rights history with PBS Black Culture Connection’s Birmingham Campaign collection.
Photo: African American children are attacked by dogs and water cannons during a protest against segregation organized by Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth in May 1963 in Birmingham, Alabama (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images).
Our country has come a long way — but there is still a lot of ground to cover.