1963 Bombing Victim Will Reject Congressional Medal, Seeks Compensation Instead

April 15, 2013  |  

The 1963 bombing of an African-American church that killed four young black girls changed the course of the Civil Rights movement. Now the lone survivor of that tragedy, Sarah Collins Rudolph, is demanding millions in compensation — and says she won’t accept a top congressional award to honor the victims, reports the Huffington Post.

Rudolph recently told The Associated Press that she feels “forgotten” in the 50 years after the Sept. 16, 1963 blast at Birmingham’s Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in which her sister was killed. Rudolph lost her eye in the attack. Rudolph says he never received restitution for the incident.

The four girls who died were Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley (all 14 years old), and 11-year-old Denise McNair. Three K.K.K.K.K.K.K.K.Klan members were convicted of the bombing many years later. Congress is currently considering whether to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the victims.

Rudolph isn’t alone in saying she will reject the Congressional honor. According to HuffPo, the brother of Cynthia Wesley, Fate Morris, says he’s also not interested in the medal, Congress’ highest honor.

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