Birmingham Children's Crusade

march by hundreds of school students in Birmingham, Alabama, May 2–5, 1963, during the Civil Rights Movement's Birmingham campaign

The Children’s March was a protest march by thousands of school students in Birmingham, Alabama, from May 2-5, 1963.[1] They left school to march for civil rights. Police officers tried to stop them by using fire hoses and police dogs to attack the children.[1] Then the police arrested as many as they could, released them only to have them marching again the next day. They marched to protest the city of Birmingham, Alabama's racial segregation laws.[2] The Children's Crusade proved to be more effective than earlier civil rights protests.[3] A few days later, on May 10, city officials agreed to desegregate the stores locally.

Details of the MarchEdit

Reverend James Bevel of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) suggested to Martin Luther King, Jr., who was directing the Birmingham desegregation efforts at the time, that they try a protest made up of children. In May of 1963, over 30,000 youths and teenagers gathered in Birmingham to march on city hall.[4] While marching students faced off against police officers armed with dogs and fire hoses, Director of Public Safety, "Bull" Connor, ordered officers to arrest the children that were marching because they did not have a permit.[4]..


  1. 1.0 1.1 "The Birmingham Children's Crusade of 1963". Bio/A&E Television Networks, LLC. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
  2. Michelle Miller (3 May 2013). "The children who marched into civil rights history". CBS News. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
  3. "Remembering the Children's Crusade". The Long Civil Rights Movement. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Joiner, Lottie L. (2 May 2013). "How the Children of Birmingham Changed the Civil-Rights Movement". The Daily Beast. The Daily Beast Company LLC. Retrieved 8 March 2016.