Bombingham is a nickname for Birmingham, Alabama during the Civil Rights Movement due to the 50 dynamite explosions that occurred in the city between 1947 and 1965.[1] The bombings were initially used against African Americans attempting to move into neighborhoods with entirely white residents. Later, the bombings were used against anyone working towards racial desegregation in the city.[1] One neighborhood within Birmingham experienced so many bombings it developed the nickname of Dynamite Hill.[2]

Part of the Civil Rights Movement
Bomb-damaged home of Arthur Shores (5 September 1963).jpg
Locals look at the bombed home of Arthur Shores in 1963.
LocationBirmingham, Alabama
Attack type
Bombings, arson, shootings
VictimsArthur Shores and other local African Americans
PerpetratorsKu Klux Klan
MotivePrevent African Americans from moving to white segregated neighborhoods.


By the 1940s, black families were trying to purchase homes in segregated white areas of Birmingham. The local Ku Klux Klan began a terror campaign against black families attempting to move to the west side of Center Street, sometimes firing shots or bombs at houses, or lighting a home's door on fire. Center Street became known as Dynamite Hill because of these attacks. From the late 1940s to the 1960s over 40 unsolved bombings occurred in Birmingham. Klan members specifically targeted civil rights lawyer Arthur Shores who lived in Birmingham. Some families refused to leave, instead tolerating the attacks in an effort to support desegregation efforts.[3]


  1. July 28, 1949 — Home of the Reverend Milton Curry Jr, at 1100 Center Street North.[4]
  2. August 2, 1949 — Second bomb at the Curry’s home.[5]
  3. April 22, 1950 — Third bomb at the Curry’s home.[6]
  4. December 21, 1950 — Home of Monroe and Mary Means Monk at 950 North Center Street, who had challenged the city of Birmingham’s zoning laws.[7]
  5. 1957 — Bomb at 1216 13th Street North in Fountain Heights was reportedly the fourth home bombed in less than a year.[8]
  6. August 20, 1963 – Home of civil rights lawyer Arthur Shores.
  7. September 4, 1963 — Second bomb at the Shores' home.
  8. September 15, 1963 — 16th Street Baptist Church bombing killed four young girls: Addie May Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley.[9]


  1. ^ a b Eskew, p. 53
  2. ^ Elliott, Debbie (July 6, 2013). "Remembering Birmingham's 'Dynamite Hill' Neighborhood". National Public Radio (NPR). Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  3. ^ "Remembering Birmingham's 'Dynamite Hill' Neighborhood". Retrieved 2020-01-04.
  4. ^ “Horrific years of Bombingham”,, June 26, 2016.
  5. ^ “Horrific years of Bombingham”,, June 26, 2016.
  6. ^ “Horrific years of Bombingham”,, June 26, 2016.
  7. ^ “Horrific years of Bombingham”,, June 26, 2016.
  8. ^ “Horrific years of Bombingham”,, June 26, 2016.
  9. ^ "Birmingham Church Bombing - Black History -". Retrieved 2017-06-01.


Further readingEdit