The Book The Book Order

During the March

MONDAY, MAY 6, 1963

That morning, fewer than nine hundred of Birmingham’s almost 7,500 black high schoolers showed up at school. By 9:00 a.m., two thousand students had gathered inside Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, and at least one thousand more waited outside.

Bevel and Police Chief Moore made a deal: if the students marched peacefully that afternoon, officers wouldn’t use hoses and dogs when arresting them. Nonetheless, the park was surrounded with fire engines and high-pressure hoses.

Children who wanted to be in on the action, cheerfully stood in long lines, waiting for the school bus to take them to jail. Within ninety minutes, a thousand jubilant protesters were on their way—almost as many as had been arrested during the previous four days. Most of them were girls. On board the buses, they chanted freedom songs, stomped their feet, and shook their fingers out the windows at police.

Between Thursday, May 2, and Monday, May 6, almost 2,500 young people had been arrested and the jail cells were full. Connor arranged for the new arrestees to be housed at the 4-H barns at Fair Park, the state fairground, where they were housed in the cattle pens and hog pavilions.

May 2 | May 3 | May 4 | May 5 | May 6 | May 7