Addie Mae Collins

Addie Mae Collins

Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama, USA
Death 15 Sep 1963 (aged 14)
Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama, USA
Burial Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama, USA
Memorial ID 6433252 · View Source
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Murder Victim, Civil Rights Figure. Born the daughter of Julius and Alice Collins, she was one of seven children. She attended Hill Elementary School and was an enthusiastic softball player and budding artist. She was a member of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham which was, due to the spacious basement auditorium, the center for meetings of the civil rights movement. On Sunday morning, September 15, 1963, several members of the KKK tunneled under the church and planted 122 sticks of dynamite near what was the girls' basement rest room. At about 10:22 AM, twenty-six children were entering the basement assembly room for closing prayers, five girls were apparently changing into their choir robes. At 10:19 AM the bomb exploded, blowing a hole in the east side of the church, shattered windows, walls, and doors and injuring or killing 24 people. Sarah Collins, Addie Mae's sister, lost her right eye. When the debris was searched for survivors, the bodies of the four young girls were found; Cynthia Wesley, Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, and Carole Robertson. The murders touched off nationwide outrage. Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, and Cynthia Wesley were interred during joint funeral attended by over 8,000 mourners. Despite the outrage and an FBI investigation, however, no one was charged with the crime. It wasn't until 1977 that anyone was charged, at which time a Klan leader was convicted for the murders. Another two suspects were charged and convicted in 2001 and 2002, a fourth suspect died before charges were brought. The song "Birmingham Sunday," recorded by Joan Baez memorialized the victims of the bombing. In 1997 a documentary film on the bombing called "4 Little Girls" was released. A youth center dedicated to her was established in Birmingham.

Bio by: Iola

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Cinnamonntoast4
  • Added: 21 May 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6433252
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Addie Mae Collins (18 Apr 1949–15 Sep 1963), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6433252, citing Greenwood Cemetery, Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .