On the corner of 16th street and 5th Avenue North in Birmingham, Alabama lies a small four-acre park named Kelly Ingram Park. Named after Osmond Kelly Ingram, the first sailor to die in action during World War I, the park and the nearby 16th Street Baptist Church played an important role during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s.
Kelly Ingram Park was often used as a starting point for demonstrations, marches and a meeting place for Civil Rights leaders. Events held here during 1963 helped propel the Civil Rights Movement into the forefront of the nation when stark images of children being arrested and attacked by police were shown on major media channels during the Children’s Crusade; a non violent walk to bring attention to segregation in Birmingham. The deaths of four young girls (Addie Mae Collins, 14; Carol Denise McNair, 11; Carole Robertson, 14; Cynthia Wesley, 14) during a Kl Klux Klan bombing at the 16th Street Baptist Church was a major turning point in the Civil Rights Movement and helped pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
In 1992 the Kelly Ingram Park was renovated and became a place of revolution and reconciliation and multiple sculptures placed upon the grounds depicting the turbulence of Birmingham during the Civil Rights Movement. Audio tours from the nearby Civil Right Institute are available to learn more on the history of the park and sculptures.