The 16th Street Baptist Church bombing occurred in Birmingham, AL, on September 15, 1963. Four young girls were killed in the blast: 14-year-olds Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, and Carole Robertson, and 11-year-old Carol Denise McNair. Addie Mae's sister Sarah was blinded in one eye; an estimated 22 people in total were wounded. The victims were all African American.
The perpetrators of the violent attack were members of the KKK. The bombing became a catalyst for the then-growing civil rights movement of the 1960s, which led to the signing of the Civil Rights Act and the desegregation of much of the Southern United States. The church bombing in Birmingham was a heinous act that killed innocent girls, all of whom were posthumously awarded Congressional Gold Medals in 2013.