BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – 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.