1962 Birmingham City Jail Annex (dedication program)

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Bull Connor was an international symbol of institutional racism. Bull Connor directed the use of fire hoses and police attack dogs against civil rights activists; child protestors were also subject to these attacks.

Theophilus Eugene Connor (July 11, 1897 – March 10, 1973), known as Bull Connor, was an American politician who served as an elected Commissioner of Public Safety for the city of Birmingham, Alabama, for more than two decades. He strongly opposed activities of the American Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. Under the city commission government, Connor had responsibility for administrative oversight of the Birmingham Fire Department and the Birmingham Police Department, which also had their own chiefs.

Connor enforced legal racial segregation and denied civil rights to black citizens, especially during the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s Birmingham campaign of 1963. He became an international symbol of institutional racism. Bull Connor directed the use of fire hoses and police attack dogs against civil rights activists; child protestors were also subject to these attacks. National media broadcast these tactics on national television, horrifying much of the nation. The outrages served as catalysts for major social and legal change in the Southern United States and contributed to passage by the United States Congress of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The following image of a newspaper article reporting the dedication of the Birmingham City Jail Annex on 4/15/62 is NOT part of the collection…

bham jail