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Bomb Damages Negro Church in Birmingham, Ala.

Dec. 14, 1962 - A powerful bomb was hurled at a Negro church in Birmingham, Ala., tonight, causing heavy damage to the structure and several nearby homes and raining glass and debris on 25 children practicing a Christmas play. One little girl rehearsing a nativity scene was given emergency treatment for a sliver of glass in her eye, and an infant in one of the homes was hospitalized with injuries. Authorities said the dynamite bomb was hurled at the Bethel Baptist Church from a moving automobile. The children were in the basement of the church at the time of the explosion and shielded from its full force. One side of the masonry structure was wrecked, and the roof caved in, sending debris crashing into the basement. It was the third time the church, long a center for integrationist activities, has been bombed. Fire Marshal A. Rosenfeld said the blast was caused by “at least six sticks” of dynamite and “probably a lot more.” A large crowd of Negroes from the surrounding area gathered around the churchyard, and police attempted to disperse them with police dogs. Inside the church, a large mural of Jesus holding a lamb was cracked through the center.


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