History Tip of the Day – June 20th

Police dogs and fire hoses used to assault civil rights marchers, May 3, 1963

More than 1,000 strong, the protestors march. Some are less than ten years old. Most are teenagers. Their goal is to experience something their parents have never known: an integrated Birmingham, Alabama. Blacks have been demonstrating for more than a month. The city’s public safety commissioner, Eugene “Bull” Connor, has ordered firefighters to use fire hoses at full strength against the marchers. Many children are swept down the streets and sidewalks. Then Connor lets loose the police dogs. A photograph of a policeman encouraging his German shepherd to take a chunk out of a black high school student creates worldwide outrage.