Birmingham synagogue marked as a historic site for its role in the Civil Rights Movement

Synagogue unveils historical marker for attempted bombing
Synagogue unveils historical marker for attempted bombing
Published: Jul. 17, 2022 at 10:55 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - July 17 marked a day of reflection and celebration at a Birmingham synagogue.

Now marked as a historic site, the Temple Beth El still stands after an attempted bombing more than 60 years ago.

“54 sticks of dynamite were placed in a window well right outside this building on April 28, 1958. Luckily it did not detonate, but if it had, it would’ve destroyed this building and much of the city block,” Margaret Norman with Temple Beth El said.

Temple Beth El on 21st Street in Birmingham was targeted during the civil rights era due to the role some Jewish people had in supporting equal rights for black people.

Officials believe the bomb didn’t detonate because it rained.

64 years later, the community gathered at the historical site to learn about its history and spread a message of unity.

Lisa McNair, the sister of Denise McNair, one of the four little girls killed in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, which happened five years after the attempted attack at Temple Beth El, attended the dedication.

“That hate, it reached a lot of people. It attacked a lot of people. We have to stand up and speak up against it when we see it. We are so much better together when we love each other. When we find things in common and enjoy each other’s differences. That’s really what the world should be,” Lisa McNair said.

No one was ever charged with the attempted bombing.


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