Nineteen Sixty-Three was a tumultuous year for the city of Birmingham, Alabama. But it was a year that helped to shape the Civil Rights Movement, bringing about the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and, less than 50 years later, the election (and re-election) of Barack Obama, the first African-American President of the United States.
Fifty Years Forward, a new website from the City of Birmingham, presents the dramatic events of 1963, from the inauguration of segregationist Governor George Wallace to Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" to the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church (pictured above in 2011), with archival photography and detailed information on Civil Rights tours and related events.
Visitors who wish to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the turning point of the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham can tour the Civil Rights District, which the Alabama Department of Tourism named the 2012 Attraction of the Year. The cornerstone of that district is the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, which just celebrated its 20th anniversary of "Chronicling the Past to Inspire the Future."