US

Students re-enacting 1963 Birmingham march against racial segregation

  • Students carry signs as they march through downtown Birmingham, Ala., Thursday, May 2, 2013. Students from a dozen high schools and colleges marched from the city's 16th Street Baptist Church to mark the 50th anniversary of the Children's Crusade against racial segregation in 1963. The march 50 years ago was led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and ended with city leaders unleashing fire hoses and police dogs on demonstrators. More than 2,500 youth were arrested over two days, public outcry helped spur passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

    Students carry signs as they march through downtown Birmingham, Ala., Thursday, May 2, 2013. Students from a dozen high schools and colleges marched from the city's 16th Street Baptist Church to mark the 50th anniversary of the Children's Crusade against racial segregation in 1963. The march 50 years ago was led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and ended with city leaders unleashing fire hoses and police dogs on demonstrators. More than 2,500 youth were arrested over two days, public outcry helped spur passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)  (The Associated Press)

  • Thousands of young students march through downtown Birmingham, Ala., Thursday, May 2, 2013 retracing a landmark civil rights march. Students from a dozen high schools and colleges marched from the city's 16th Street Baptist Church to mark the 50th anniversary of the Children's Crusade against racial segregation in 1963. The march 50 years ago was led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and ended with city leaders unleashing fire hoses and police dogs on demonstrators. The ghastly images showed the depth of racial turmoil in the South.  Public outcry helped spur passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

    Thousands of young students march through downtown Birmingham, Ala., Thursday, May 2, 2013 retracing a landmark civil rights march. Students from a dozen high schools and colleges marched from the city's 16th Street Baptist Church to mark the 50th anniversary of the Children's Crusade against racial segregation in 1963. The march 50 years ago was led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and ended with city leaders unleashing fire hoses and police dogs on demonstrators. The ghastly images showed the depth of racial turmoil in the South. Public outcry helped spur passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)  (The Associated Press)

  • Students attend a civil rights program at the 16th St. Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., Thursday, May 2, 2013. Students from a dozen high schools and colleges marched from the church to mark the 50th anniversary of the Children's Crusade against racial segregation in 1963. The march 50 years ago was led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and ended with city leaders unleashing fire hoses and police dogs on demonstrators.  More than 2,500 youth were arrested over two days. Public outcry helped spur passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

    Students attend a civil rights program at the 16th St. Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., Thursday, May 2, 2013. Students from a dozen high schools and colleges marched from the church to mark the 50th anniversary of the Children's Crusade against racial segregation in 1963. The march 50 years ago was led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and ended with city leaders unleashing fire hoses and police dogs on demonstrators. More than 2,500 youth were arrested over two days. Public outcry helped spur passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)  (The Associated Press)

Fifty years ago, Birmingham leaders used fire hoses, police dogs and jailings to stop waves of young people who marched out of a church and on to downtown streets seeking equal rights for blacks.

Thursday, more than 1,000 students recreated that landmark demonstration, bringing tears to the eyes of 65-year-old Ronald Short. He was only 15 when he participated in the so-called "Children's Crusade," and he wiped away tears as he joined in the commemoration five decades later.

An estimated 1,400 students from a dozen high schools and colleges marched from Birmingham's Sixteenth Baptist Church to mark the 50th anniversary of the Children's Crusade, which led to the arrests of more than 2,500 young people over two days.

The public outcry helped spur passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.