WSB-TV newsfilm clip of the bombed ruins of the A.G. Gaston Motel and law enforcement patrolling the streets after a series of riots in Birmingham, Alabama, 1963 May 11
@ Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection
WSB-TV (Television station : Atlanta, Ga.)
DescriptionThis silent WSB newsfilm clip from May 11, 1963, shows the bombed ruins of the A.G. Gaston Motel and law enforcement officers patrolling the streets after a series of riots. The clip begins with African Americans near the ruins of the A.G. Gaston Motel; one of the motel rooms contains a bed and a desk covered with debris. Next, an African American man sweeps in front of a building with blown-out windows; firemen hose down smoldering wreckage, and the underside of an overturned car smokes. Law enforcement officers stand and walk down the street; African Americans stand lining the sidewalk. In early April 1963, the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR) and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) consolidated their efforts against segregation by jointly honing in on Birmingham. On May 10, 1963, African American leaders and white businessmen reached a demonstration-ending agreement. On May 11, the A.G. Gaston Motel and the home of Martin Luther King's brother Reverend A. D. King were both bombed. Martin Luther King and other SCLC leaders frequented the Gaston Motel when in Birmingham; businessman A. G. Gaston often provided them with complimentary office space. The bombings sparked riots by African Americans in a twenty-eight-block section of Birmingham; local police officers and state troopers responding to the crisis beat rioters and bystanders, injuring over fifty people. In response to the violence, President Kennedy called for nonviolence, readied troops for riot control, and federalized the Alabama National Guard.Title supplied by cataloger.The Civil Rights Digital Library...