September 15, 1963: Four black girls are killed and 21 others are injured when a bomb explodes at Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church, a center for nearby civil rights demonstrations the previous spring. The girls, ranging between the ages of 11 and 14, were preparing for Youth Day activities when the Sunday morning explosion occurred. Three Klansmen accused of the bombing were convicted: one each in 1977, 2001, and 2002. A fourth suspect who died in 1994 was never put on trial.
September 15, 1964: The Rev. K. L. Buford and Dr. Stanley Hugh Smith become the first black elected officials in Alabama since Reconstruction when they win seats on the Tuskegee City Council. Buford, a civil rights leader, and Smith, a sociology professor at Tuskegee Institute, defeated white incumbents in a run-off election.