Series of events planned to mark 50th anniversary of 1963 Childr - WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Reenactment planned to mark 50th anniversary of 1963 Children's March

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The Children's March of 1963 also known as the The Children's Crusade is reaching its 50th anniversary.

Back in 1963, hundreds of school students in Birmingham marched on May 2, 3, 4 and 5 to fight for civil rights.

The purpose of the march was to walk downtown to talk to the mayor about segregation in the city.

Many children left their schools in order to be arrested, set free, then arrested again the next day. "The marches were stopped due to the head of police Bull Connor who brought fire hoses to ward off the children and set police dogs after the children," according to accounts of The Children's March.

This week, the city of Birmingham, Councilman Jay Roberson and several others are joining together to mark the 50th anniversary.

"To commemorate the occurrence, Birmingham City Councilor Jay Roberson will host the 1963 Children's Reenactment March Thursday, May 2, 2013, at 12 Noon. The March will begin at Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, loop through Regions Field, and end at Railroad Park," according to a news release.

"An estimated 1,400 students from schools across Birmingham and Jefferson County are scheduled to participate. Confirmed schools are: Wenonah, Jackson Olin, Parker, Woodlawn, Huffman, Ramsay, Homewood and Mountain Brook High Schools, Miles College, Birmingham-Southern College, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Samford University. Prior to the march, students will attend a program at the Historic Sixteenth Street Baptist Church."

"In addition to watching a documentary that chronicles the movement, students will interact with individuals who marched, protested, and were jailed during the height of the Civil Rights Movement. These young people will be a part of a re-enactment that changed not only this City but changed this state and the world," said Councilor Roberson.

"We are excited about the re-enactment of the children's march and the opportunity it presents for the high school students in our area to reflect on the rich history of Birmingham. Out of that tumultuous time for our city arises many lessons on reconciliation and hope. Lessons we hope each participant will carry with them wherever their life journey takes them," said Reverend Arthur Price, Jr., Pastor of Sixteenth Street Baptist Church.

Today, Miles College is paying tribute and recognizing the efforts of people who played a pivotal role in the Civil Rights Movement.

Dozens of people are attending the program, which is currently underway.

Speakers are talking about Birmingham's role in the movement and honoring that sacrifice through song. 

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