Birmingham

Police officer seizing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by the seat of his trousers and leading him to a paddy wagon. Click to view letter

April 12 - Birmingham, AL - Reverend Ralph Abernathy and Dr. King publicly ignored a court injunction against marching and are arrested.   King later wrote Letter from a Birmingham Jail, which outlined the goals and origins of the nonviolent strategies used during the civil rights movement.   It was King's response to a letter that he received from white clergymen who requested that he and his followers refrain from demonstrating in Birmingham.   During the demonstration as the photographers took pictures, "Bull" Connor authorized his officers to use firehoses and police dogs on the students and children.   These photographs were shown around the world and elicited national support and sympathy.