Congress Honors Birmingham Bombing Victims

Gold medal ceremony

Congress honored the victims of the 1963 16th Street Baptist Church bombing with the Congressional Gold Medal on September 10, 2013.
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Replicas of the medals.

Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley are depicted on the Congressional Gold Medal.

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute President and CEO Dr. Lawrence Pijeaux accepted the award on behalf of the victims and their families.

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute President and CEO Dr. Lawrence Pijeaux accepted the award on behalf of the victims and their families.

Congressional leaders honor the 1963 16th Street Baptist Church bombing victims.

House and Senate leaders assembled in the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall on September 10, 2013, to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Denise McNair, Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley. The four girls perished in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing on September 15, 1963.

McNair was 11-years-old at the time of the bombing. Collins, Robertson, and Wesley were 14.

“Here in the people’s House, two representatives from Alabama – a white man and an African-American woman – have joined together to see that these favorite daughters will always shine in the hearts and history of our nation,” House Speaker John Boehner said. “Addie Mae, who went door to door after school selling the aprons and potholders her mother made.  Denise, who put on skits in the garage to raise money for muscular dystrophy.  Carole, who always made sure she got her chores done so she could go to dance class on Saturdays.  And Cynthia, who did well in math and the band, who enjoyed hosting parties in the backyard.”

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute President and CEO Dr. Lawrence Pijeaux accepted the medal on behalf of the victims and their families.