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Who Was Involved In The Birmingham Alabama?

Who Was Involved In The Birmingham Alabama
Who Was Involved In The Birmingham Alabama Firemen turn fire hoses on demonstrators, Birmingham, Alabama, 1963 Photo by Charles Moore. Fair Use Image The Birmingham Campaign was a movement led in early 1963 by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) which sought to bring national attention to the efforts of local Black leaders to desegregate public facilities in Birmingham, Alabama.

The campaign was led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Reverends James Bevel and Fred Shuttlesworth, among others. In April 1963, King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) joined Birmingham’s local campaign organized by Rev. Shuttlesworth and his group, the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR).

The goal of the local campaign was to attack the city’s segregation system by putting pressure on Birmingham’s merchants during the Easter season, the second-biggest shopping season of the year. When that campaign stalled, the ACMHR asked SCLC to help.

The campaign was originally scheduled to begin in early March 1963 but was postponed until April. On April 3, 1963, it was launched with mass meetings, lunch counter sit-ins, a march on city hall, and a boycott of downtown merchants. King spoke to Birmingham’s Black citizens about nonviolence and its methods and appealed for volunteers.

When Birmingham’s residents enthusiastically responded, the campaign’s actions expanded to kneel-ins at churches, sit-ins at the library, and a march on the county courthouse to register voters. On April 10, 1963, the city government obtained a state court injunction against the protests.

  • After debate, campaign leaders decided to disobey the court order.
  • Ing contemplated whether he and Ralph Abernathy—SCLC’s second-in-command—should be arrested.
  • Ing decided that he must risk jail.
  • On Good Friday, April 12, 1963, King was arrested in Birmingham after violating the anti-protest injunction and was placed in solitary confinement.

During this time, he wrote Letter From a Birmingham Jail on the margins of the Birmingham News, in reaction to a statement published by eight Birmingham clergymen condemning the protests. King asked his jailers for permission to call his wife, Coretta Scott King, who at the time was home in Atlanta, recovering from the birth of their fourth child, Bernice King.

  • They denied the request.
  • After Mrs.
  • Ing shared her concern about her husband’s safety with the Kennedy administration, Birmingham officials permitted King to call home.
  • He was released on bail on April 20, 1963.
  • On May 2, 1963, more than one thousand African American students attempted to march into downtown Birmingham where hundreds were arrested.

The following day, Public Safety Commissioner Eugene “Bull” Connor directed local police and fire departments to use force to halt the demonstrations. The next few days’ images of children being blasted by high-pressure fire hoses, clubbed by police officers, and attacked by dogs appeared on television and in newspapers, sparking international outrage.

  • Attorney General Robert Kennedy sent Burke Marshall, his chief civil rights assistant, to negotiate between the Black citizens and Birmingham city business leadership.
  • The business leaders sought a moratorium on street protests as an act of good faith before any settlement could be declared.
  • Marshall encouraged the campaign leaders to halt demonstrations and accept this interim compromise.

King and the other leaders agreed on May 8, 1963, and called off further demonstrations. On May 10, 1963, King and Fred Shuttlesworth announced an agreement with the city of Birmingham to desegregate lunch counters, restrooms, drinking fountains, and department store fitting rooms within ninety days, to hire Blacks in stores as salesmen and clerks, and to release of hundreds of jail protesters on bond.

Their victory, however, was met by violence. On May 11, 1963, a bomb damaged the Gaston Motel where King and SCLC members were staying. The next day, the home of King’s brother and Birmingham resident, Alfred Daniel King, was bombed. Four months later on September 15, 1963, Ku Klux Klan (KKK) members bombed Birmingham’s 16th Street Baptist Church which had been the staging center for many of the spring demonstrations.

Four young Black girls—Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson, and Carol Denise McNair—were killed. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered the eulogy at their funeral on September 18, 1963. Nonetheless, Birmingham was considered one of the most successful campaigns of the civil rights era.

Who was involved in the Birmingham campaign?

Birmingham Campaign
Part of the Civil Rights Movement
High school students are hit by a high-pressure water jet from a fire hose during a peaceful walk in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963. As photographed by Charles Moore, images like this one, printed in Life, galvanized global support for the demonstrators.
Date April 3 – May 10, 1963
Location Birmingham, Alabama and Kelly Ingram Park
Resulted in
  • Mass demonstrations throughout United States
  • Civil Rights Address delivered by John F. Kennedy
  • March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • Martin Luther King Jr. writes ” Letter from Birmingham Jail “
  • Increased attention towards racial segregation in southern United States
  • Martin Luther King Jr.’s reputation elevated
  • Bull Connor ousted from his public office
  • Desegregation in Birmingham
Parties to the civil conflict
  • Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR)
  • Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)
  • City Commission of Birmingham
    • Birmingham Police Department
    • Birmingham Fire Department
  • Birmingham Chamber of Commerce

/td> Lead figures

  • ACMHR member
    • Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth
  • SCLC members
    • Martin Luther King Jr.
    • James Bevel
    • Wyatt Tee Walker
    • Dorothy Cotton
  • Mayors
    • Art Hanes (1961–1963)
    • Albert Boutwell (1963–1967)
  • Commissioner of Public Safety

    Bull Connor

  • Commissioner of Public Improvements

    J.T. Waggoner Sr.

  • President of Chamber of Commerce
  • Sid Smyer

The Birmingham campaign, also known as the Birmingham movement or Birmingham confrontation, was an American movement organized in early 1963 by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) to bring attention to the integration efforts of African Americans in Birmingham, Alabama,

  1. Led by Martin Luther King Jr.
  2. James Bevel, Fred Shuttlesworth and others, the campaign of nonviolent direct action culminated in widely publicized confrontations between young black students and white civic authorities, and eventually led the municipal government to change the city’s discrimination laws.

In the early 1960s, Birmingham was one of the most racially divided cities in the United States, enforced both legally and culturally. Black citizens faced legal and economic disparities, and violent retribution when they attempted to draw attention to their problems.

Martin Luther King Jr. called it the most segregated city in the country. Protests in Birmingham began with a boycott led by Shuttlesworth meant to pressure business leaders to open employment to people of all races, and end segregation in public facilities, restaurants, schools, and stores. When local business and governmental leaders resisted the boycott, the SCLC agreed to assist.

Organizer Wyatt Tee Walker joined Birmingham activist Shuttlesworth and began what they called Project C, a series of sit-ins and marches intended to provoke mass arrests. When the campaign ran low on adult volunteers, James Bevel thought of the idea of having students become the main demonstrators in the Birmingham campaign.

  • He then trained and directed high school, college, and elementary school students in nonviolence, and asked them to participate in the demonstrations by taking a peaceful walk 50 at a time from the 16th Street Baptist Church to City Hall in order to talk to the mayor about segregation.
  • This resulted in over a thousand arrests, and, as the jails and holding areas filled with arrested students, the Birmingham Police Department, at the direction of the city Commissioner of Public Safety, Eugene “Bull” Connor, used high-pressure water hoses and police attack dogs on the children and adult bystanders.

Not all of the bystanders were peaceful, despite the avowed intentions of SCLC to hold a completely nonviolent walk, but the students held to the nonviolent premise. Martin Luther King Jr. and the SCLC drew both criticism and praise for allowing children to participate and put themselves in harm’s way.

Who marched in Birmingham?

By the end of this section, you will: –

Explain how and why various groups responded to calls for the expansion of civil rights from 1960 to 1980

As the 1950s gave way to the 1960s, the direct-action civil rights movement that had begun with the Montgomery bus boycott in 1956 suddenly became more daring and more ambitious. The college students’ “sit-ins” of 1960 and the Freedom Rides of 1961 were more direct, confrontational, and far-reaching challenges to racial segregation and discrimination than the Montgomery campaign had been.

The movement’s next significant campaign took place in Albany, Georgia. The Albany campaign sought to end that city’s practices of race discrimination in voting rights, employment, and equal access to various public venues. It was the first instance of mass direct action in which many African American adults went to jail to demonstrate their commitment, and it was the first civil rights campaign led by an alliance of local and outside organizations.

Despite those important firsts, it is also widely regarded as the movement’s first significant setback. The campaign began in late summer 1961, when Charles Sherrod and Cordell Reagon, two young Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) activists, traveled to Albany to initiate a voter registration drive and further the effort to desegregate interstate transportation facilities – stations as well as buses and trains. Who Was Involved In The Birmingham Alabama A replica of a Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) pin. The SNCC helped organize protests and marches throughout the 1960s as part of the civil rights movement. The first protest occurred days before Thanksgiving, when a handful of African American college students from Albany State ventured into the white section of the city’s bus station and were promptly arrested.

  1. Shortly thereafter, Sherrod and Reagon called James Forman, executive secretary of SNCC, to suggest organizing a group of freedom riders to travel by train from Atlanta to test the Albany station.
  2. On their arrival on December 10, Albany Police Chief Laurie Pritchett ordered the arrest of the riders, and the next morning, a crowd of approximately 400 marched to city hall to show support for those arrested.

Fearing an eruption of violence, Pritchett ordered the jailing of hundreds of nonviolent demonstrators. To gain material support and national attention, the Albany protesters agreed to invite the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) to participate.

Ing accepted, but two more rounds of demonstrations proved unsuccessful. King left Albany in early August amid media reports that declared the campaign a defeat. Chief Pritchett, himself a student of protest campaigns, had outwitted the protesters by securing enough jail space to house them and by ordering his officers to refrain from violence against them.

After Albany, King and other movement leaders understood more clearly their main formula for success. Direct-action protests needed to attract sympathetic attention from national news media, which, in turn, would arouse public sentiment and move the federal government to intervene on the side of the protesters.

  • Efforts to fill local jails with nonviolent protesters could be effective, but the surest means of attracting sympathetic media attention was for protesters to subject themselves peacefully to violence perpetrated by defenders of the old racial order.
  • The key was to display a sharp contrast between the moral discipline of the protesters and the intemperance of their adversaries.

Mindful of this lesson and inspired by the daring of the movement’s younger activists, King and his SCLC colleagues elected to strike next at the very heart of racial segregation and discrimination in the South. King wrote that Birmingham, Alabama, was “the most segregated city in America.” Blacks and whites resided in racially segregated neighborhoods, sent their children to segregated schools, and attended segregated churches.

Employment opportunities for African Americans were generally limited, and the large majority of black citizens were prevented, by law or intimidation, from voting. Brutality against blacks “was an unquestioned and unchallenged reality.” A campaign in Birmingham, SCLC leaders expected, would be “the toughest fight of our careers.” Yet “as Birmingham goes,” local activist minister Fred Shuttlesworth declared, “so goes the nation.” The year 1963 marked the centennial anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

“Now is the time,” King wrote as the campaign commenced, “to make real the promise of democracy,” and Birmingham was the place. “Project C” for confrontation, as campaign leaders dubbed it, was designed to pressure Birmingham merchants to desegregate and adopt fair hiring practices.

  • The campaign began with sit-in demonstrations the week before Easter.
  • The city then obtained a court injunction against additional demonstrations, and after anxious deliberation, the protest leaders elected to disobey the court order.
  • Led by King, Ralph Abernathy, and Shuttlesworth, protesters marched from Birmingham’s 16th Street Baptist Church to city hall on Good Friday, April 12.

The leaders were arrested and jailed for demonstrating without a permit. Who Was Involved In The Birmingham Alabama Protesters in Birmingham mobilized at the 16th Street Baptist Church and marched to city hall in 1963. The following day, two Birmingham newspapers published a letter by eight local white clergymen imploring protesters to obey the law and pursue their goals by negotiation rather than by street demonstrations.

Those clergymen were not segregationists; they supported the Supreme Court’s desegregation rulings. Their letter stung King, who composed in response what became the movement’s classic statement of its principles. In his “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” drafted during his stay in jail, King explained and defended the practices of nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience.

He argued that the civil rights movement, in its means and ends, was in accord with the higher-law tradition of western moral philosophy epitomized in the Declaration of Independence. Despite the eloquence of his “Letter,” when King and the other leaders were released from jail after eight days, the campaign was on the verge of failure.

The turning point came with the decision, sharply controversial among Birmingham’s black parents, to enlist the aid of children in filling the jails. Police Commissioner Eugene “Bull” Connor, a notorious hardline segregationist, had acted to that point with relative restraint. Angered by the “children’s crusade,” however, he unleashed police dogs and turned fire hoses on the marchers to drive them from the streets.

Connor’s reaction generated a surge of negative media coverage, with televised images of police brutality arousing national sympathy for the protesters. Birmingham’s business leaders, alarmed by the disorder and the negative publicity, quickly accepted a negotiated desegregation settlement.

  • Birmingham signified the greatest victory to date in the civil rights struggle, and movement leaders were eager to build on it.
  • In the most audacious demonstration of all, they planned to march on Washington, DC.
  • A mass march on the nation’s capital for jobs and equal rights was a longstanding project of venerable labor leader and rights activist A.

Philip Randolph, who first proposed such a march in 1941. As Randolph and others revived the idea in 1963, President John Kennedy was fashioning a comprehensive civil rights bill to send to Congress. Fearing disorder and an anti-civil rights backlash, however, Kennedy convened a June conference during which he attempted to dissuade King and his colleagues from going through with the march.

The president had reason to worry. In the weeks after Birmingham, hundreds of racial protest demonstrations had flared up in southern cities, and the murder of voting rights activist Medgar Evers in Mississippi had provoked additional national outrage. Movement leaders shared Kennedy’s concerns, but they were not dissuaded.

The march took place on August 28, drawing an estimated 250,000 participants from across the United States. Thanks largely to careful preparation by public officials and the organizational skill of longtime equal-rights and peace activist Bayard Rustin, the event was peaceful and orderly. Who Was Involved In The Birmingham Alabama Participants in the 1963 civil rights march on Washington listened to speeches at the Lincoln Memorial, including Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I have a dream” speech. Mindful of the magnitude of the occasion, King aspired to emulate Lincoln’s achievement in the Gettysburg Address.

He invoked “the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence,” but the words that immortalized his speech came as he departed from his prepared text and transformed a formal address into a civic sermon. Even though we face difficulties, King declared, “I still have a dream.

It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today!” The march on Washington was a landmark event in U.S.

Who led the civil rights movement in Birmingham Alabama?

In 1963, images of snarling police dogs unleashed against non-violent protesters and of children being sprayed with high-pressure hoses appeared in print and television news around the world. These dramatic scenes of violent police aggression against civil rights protesters from Birmingham, Alabama were vivid examples of segregation and racial injustice in America.

  1. The episode sickened many, including President John F.
  2. Ennedy, and elevated civil rights from a Southern issue to a pressing national issue.
  3. The confrontation between protesters and police was a product of the direct action campaign known as Project C.
  4. Project C—for confrontation—challenged unfair laws that were designed to limit freedoms of African Americans and ensure racial inequality.

Leaders from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) along with Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR) took up residence at the A.G. Gaston Motel in April through May of 1963 to direct Project C.

  1. From the motel, which served as their headquarters and also as an area to stage events and hold press conferences, the movement’s leaders strategized and made critical decision that shaped national events and significantly advanced the cause of the civil rights movement.
  2. In addition to the daily work of the campaign that occurred at the motel, several key events of the campaign publicly unfolded at the property.

Public outrage over the events in Birmingham produced political pressure that helped to ensure passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The struggle for equality is illustrated by places like the A.G. Gaston Motel, located throughout Birmingham, where civil rights activists organized, protested, and clashed with segregationists.

How long did the Birmingham bus boycott last?

The boycott took place from December 5, 1955, to December 20, 1956, and is regarded as the first large-scale U.S. demonstration against segregation.

Who led the Birmingham Children’s March?

The Birmingham Children’s Crusade (May 1963) Birmingham Children’s Crusade, 1963 This entry is for juvenile audiences. To see the full version of this entry, click, What Happened: In May of 1963, thousands of Black children ages 7-18, conducted peaceful protests around the city of Birmingham, Alabama.

They were organized by activist James Bevel, and their purpose was to draw attention to the Civil Rights Movement. They were met with anger by white Birmingham citizens, hostility by the police, and many of them were thrown in jail. Despite these reactions these young people bravely continued their protests.

Why it is important to know about: Even though they were children, these kids were still met with brute force. Seeing children treated this way, however, brought national attention to what was happening in Birmingham, and how Black people were being treated across the South.

This event became one of the major factors in the success of the Civil Rights Movement, one that directly affected change. Details of the event: In April 1963, civil rights activists including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., met in Birmingham, Alabama to conduct protests against segregated facilities throughout the city.

It was during this time, April 12 to be exact, that Dr. King was arrested and wrote his famed “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” One of the activists, James Bevel of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, suggested getting the youth involved in the protests.

  • Though not everyone agreed, on May 2, 1963, thousands of young Black boys and girls gathered at the 16th Street Baptist Church (the church that was later bombed killing four little Black girls in September 1963) in Birmingham.
  • Their mission was to engage in a series of peaceful protests and marches around the city.

These children, who ranged in age from 7 to 18, were trained in the art of non-violent protest and told to expect negative reactions. Knowing this, they decided to go forward anyway. Over the course of the next few days, hundreds of them were attacked by the police and police dogs, sprayed with water hoses, and carried off to jail by the bus loads.

  1. The display of courage shown by these young people, and the way they were treated gained national attention.
  2. By May 10, 1963, after eight days of protesting, the city came to an agreement to desegregate businesses and free all the protesters from jail.
  3. Lasting impact: This event, that would become known as the Birmingham Children’s Crusade, put fuel back into the Civil Rights Movement.

People across the nation, including public officials such as U.S. President John F. Kennedy were inspired to act. What these children accomplished would eventually lead to passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. What we learned from this event: Civil Rights is not just an adult issue, or a Black person issue, it’s an everyone issue. Do you find this information helpful? A small donation would help us keep this available to all. Forego a bottle of soda and donate its cost to us for the information you just learned, and feel good about helping to make it available to everyone. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and our EIN is 26-1625373.

What makes Birmingham famous?

15 Things You Didn’t Know About Birmingham Britain’s largest city outside of London, is a one-stop destination to live, work and play. Whether you’re thinking of moving here, investing or are just keen to learn about this incredibly diverse city, here are 15 impressive things you didn’t know about this world-class destination.1.

Birmingham is the youngest city in Europe with more than 40% of its population found to be under the age of 25.2. Birmingham is also the UK’s second largest city with more than 1,073,045 recorded in the 2011 census.3. The famous Bullring Shopping Centre is one of Europe’s largest malls and is where you can find its namesake, the ‘Birmingham Bull’, the city’s iconic symbol.4.

Move over Wimbledon, the real home of tennis is Birmingham, where the first official games of the racquet sport were played in the 1850s.5. Venice is famous for its gondola rides along its canals, but Birmingham is, in fact, home to more miles of canal waterways with 35 miles to the Italian city’s 26.6.

  • Birmingham is known as the ‘first manufacturing town in the world’ and was hailed as the ‘City of a Thousand Trades’ after it achieved city status in 1889, thanks to the number of businesses that chose to base themselves in the area, largely due to its vast water network.7.
  • Birmingham is the hometown of many of the world’s ground-breaking musicians, including Duran Duran, Ozzy Osbourne and UB40.8.

Birmingham Hippodrome is the UK’s busiest and most popular theatre with more than half a million visitors each year.9. Birmingham has more public open space than any city of equal size in Europe with 571 parks – nearly 200 more than Paris! 10. The Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham is responsible for producing more than 40% of the UK’s jewellery.11.

Birmingham is the homeland of chocolate, with Cadbury’s starting production in Bull Street back in 1824. It is thought that the novel ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ was inspired by Roald Dahl’s experience of Cadbury’s.12. It’s not just the sweet tooth that Birmingham is famous for; the city wins on the savoury front too! There are more Michelin-starred restaurants in Birmingham than any other UK city outside of London.13.

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is home to the world’s largest collection of Pre-Raphaelite art, as well as one of Europe’s greatest collections of metalwork and ceramics.14.J.R.R Tolkien spent much of his early life in Birmingham, and it is thought that areas such as King’s Heath and Sarehole were what inspired the home of the hobbits in his epic fantasy, ‘Lord of the Rings’.15.

  • The Library of Birmingham, a huge £189m project which opened its doors in 2013, is the largest public library in the UK, and the largest regional library and cultural space in Europe.
  • Want to learn more about Birmingham? Browse our to find the best spots to explore and take a look at the in the area.

Edited: 21st November 2022 : 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Birmingham

How did the Birmingham movement end?

Charles Moore / Getty Images On May 2, 1963, more than 1,000 Black children peacefully protested racial segregation in Birmingham, Alabama, as part of the Children’s Crusade, beginning a movement that sparked widely publicized police brutality that shocked the nation and spurred major civil rights advances.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) had launched the Children’s Crusade to revive the Birmingham anti-segregation campaign. As part of that effort, more than 1,000 African American children trained in nonviolent protest tactics walked out of their classes on May 2 and assembled at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church to march to downtown Birmingham.

Though hundreds were assaulted, arrested, and transported to jail in school buses and paddy wagons, the children refused to relent their peaceful demonstration. The next day, when hundreds more children began to march, Commissioner of Public Safety Eugene “Bull” Connor directed local police and firemen to attack the children with high-pressure fire hoses, batons, and police dogs.

Images of children being brutally assaulted by police and snarling canines appeared on television and in newspapers throughout the nation and world, provoking global outrage. The U.S. Department of Justice soon intervened. The campaign to desegregate Birmingham ended on May 10 when city officials agreed to desegregate the city’s downtown stores and release jailed demonstrators in exchange for an end to SCLC’s protests.

The following evening, disgruntled proponents of segregation responded to the agreement with a series of local bombings. In the wake of the Children’s Crusade, the Birmingham Board of Education announced that all children who participated in the march would be suspended or expelled from school.

Who was involved in the march on Washington?

Philip Randolph, Whitney Young, James Farmer, Martin Luther King Jr., John Lewis, and himself. They were called the Big Six. He was a journalist and editor before he became a civil rights activist. In 1967, President Johnson awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Who represented the Birmingham Six?

Appeals – In March 1976 their first application for leave to appeal was dismissed by the Court of Appeal, presided over by Lord Widgery CJ, Journalist Chris Mullin investigated the case for Granada TV ‘s World in Action series. In 1985, the first of several World in Action programmes casting doubt on the men’s convictions was broadcast.

  • In 1986, Mullin’s book, Error of Judgment: The Truth About the Birmingham Pub Bombings, set out a detailed case supporting the men’s claims that they were innocent.
  • It included his claim to have met some of those who were actually responsible for the bombings.
  • The Home Secretary, Douglas Hurd, referred the case back to the Court of Appeal,

In January 1988, after a six-week hearing (at that time the longest criminal appeal hearing ever held), the convictions were ruled to be safe and satisfactory. The Court of Appeal, presided over by the Lord Chief Justice Lord Lane, dismissed the appeals.

Over the next three years, newspaper articles, television documentaries and books brought forward new evidence to question the safety of the convictions. Their second full appeal, in 1991, was allowed. Hunter was represented by Lord Gifford QC, the others by Michael Mansfield QC. New evidence of police fabrication and suppression of evidence, the successful attacks on both the confessions and the 1975 forensic evidence caused the Crown to decide not to resist the appeals.

The Court of Appeal, constituted by Lord Justices Lloyd, Mustill and Farquharson, stated that “in the light of the fresh scientific evidence, which at least throws grave doubt on Dr. Skuse’s evidence, if it does not destroy it altogether, these convictions are both unsafe and unsatisfactory.” On 14 March 1991 the six walked free.

  1. In 2001, a decade after their release, the six men were awarded compensation ranging from £840,000 to £1.2 million.
  2. Richard McIlkenny, one of the six men wrongly convicted of the Birmingham pub bombings, died of cancer on 21 May 2006, aged 73.
  3. He had returned to Ireland shortly after he was freed from prison, and died in hospital with his family at his bedside.

McIlkenny was buried on 24 May in Celbridge, County Kildare, The other members of the Birmingham Six were present at his wake and funeral. Of the five surviving members of the Birmingham Six, Patrick Hill currently resides in Ayrshire ; Gerard Hunter in Portugal ; John Walker in Donegal ; and both Hugh Callaghan and William Power in London,