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Racial Turmoil in Birmingham

Apr. 3, 1962 - The city of Birmingham, Ala., withdrew its support today from the country program of surplus food for the needy. The action was taken in retaliation against what the Mayor called a Negro boycott of downtown stores. An overwhelming majority of the persons receiving the aid are Negroes. “We’ve got to do something to nip this boycott in the bud,” Mayor Arthur J. Hanes said after the three-man City Commission voted unanimously to hold out the city’s $45,000 share of the $100,000 program. Other participating local governments put up the rest of the money. City Commissioner Eugene “Bull” Connor (pictured center) made the motion to withhold the money. He said: “I’m cutting off the relief money right now.” He said that if the Negro leaders went to City Hall and told the Mayor that there was no boycott, “then I’m willing to reinstate the money.”

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