What a busy day! We covered 3 states today. The morning started with a three mile run that included 12 kids and 3 teachers. After breakfast we headed to downtown Birmingham to learn about the 16th Street Baptist Church, the site of the bombing that killed four young girls, as well as being the location for the Children’s March. It was amazing to see the pews of the church, which are over 100 years old. Equally impressive is the stained glass window in the back of the church, built by a Welsh artist, as a memorial to the events of that time. The same artist was so taken by the horrific bombing, that he came all the way from Wales to Alabama to help recover the damaged windows of the church.
After the church, we went across the street to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. After a short movie, we walked through the museum. There were original photographs, videos, statues, and more. We saw re-created rooms that showed the difference between what black and white citizens were afforded during segregation. Most of us agreed that it was the best location yet to learn about the Civil Rights Movement.
Right across the street from the BCRI is Kelly Ingram Park, the site where children were attacked by police, dogs, and fire hoses during the Children’s March. There are statues erected to memorialize the events that happened. They are all life size, and help you to truly understand the events of the time. It was a beautiful park.
Then it was off to lunch at the Alabama Power Building, a four hour bus ride through Mississippi until we reached our final destination, Memphis. The highlight of the night was the fun park with go carts, putt putt, and arcade games. The go carts were the most fun! Mr. Coale and Mr. Heacock could potentially have a future in Nascar, although we prefer to keep them on the 8th grade floor.
Tomorrow is our final day of the trip, and we are looking foward to a wonderful experience in the morning!