U.S. NewsHuman Rights


These New Monuments Make Us Remember Some Dark Parts Of US History

Obama says the monuments are meant to preserve critical moments in our nation's past.
Posted at 10:24 AM, Jan 13, 2017

President Barack Obama has named a handful of new national monuments — and three have strong links to civil rights.

The Birmingham Civil Rights National Historical Monument itself includes three sites: the 16th Street Baptist Church, Kelly Ingram Park and the A. G. Gaston Motel.

A white supremacist bombing at the church in 1963 killed four girls and injured several others. Kelly Ingram Park is where the Birmingham public safety commissioner turned dogs and hoses on civil rights protesters.

And the A.G. motel was a meeting place for segregation protesters in the '60s. Martin Luther King Jr. even stayed there at one point.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation and the city of Birmingham are working on a $9 million project to restore the motel.

In Anniston, Alabama, the Freedom Riders National Monument honors a group of segregation opponents who were attacked on a bus in 1961.

The third civil rights monument has several sites in Beaufort, South Carolina, where emancipated slaves created a community during the Reconstruction era.

Obama said in a statement that the monuments are meant to preserve critical chapters in our nation's history "from the Civil War to the civil rights movement."

Aside from civil rights, two other environmental monuments also got some love. Obama expanded the California Coastal National Monument and the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument.