The last parent of a child who was killed in the 1963 church bombings is dead

BIRMINGHAM (Ala.) -- Maxine McNair, who was the last parent to any of the four Black girls murdered in a 1963 Alabama bombing church, has died. She was 93.

The last parent of a child who was killed in the 1963 church bombings is dead

McNair's family released a press release announcing her death. The cause of McNair's death was not disclosed.

McNair's 11-year old daughter, Denise McNair was killed in the bombing at Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church. This attack was the most fatal of the civil rights movement's single attacks. Three 14-year olds were also killed in the bombing of Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church: Addie Mae Collins and Carole Rosamond Robertson.

The case saw three members of Ku Klux Klan convicted, one in 1977 and two in 2000.

Maxine McNair was a teacher in Birmingham for more than three decades. Lisa McNair, her daughter, stated that Maxine McNair had a profound impact on many people's lives and left a lasting legacy to the students she taught.

"Mrs. McNair was a remarkable wife and mother. She taught for 33 years in Birmingham's public schools system and enriched the lives of many. We will miss her laughter, her humor. "The family would appreciate your thoughts and prayers," said the family.

Chris McNair, Maxine McNair's spouse, died in 2019, at the age of 93. He was the first Black member of the Alabama legislature after Reconstruction and a Jefferson County Commissioner.

Maxine McNair was present at an Oval Office ceremony where President Barack Obama presented the four girls with the Congressional Gold Medal. This is one of the highest civilian honors in the country.

Maxine McNair is currently being buried.

Denise McNair was one among five girls who had gathered at the 16th Street Baptist Church's downstairs bathroom on Sept. 15, 1963 when a KKK member planted a time bomb went off outside.

Sarah Collins Rudolph was the fifth child and sister to Addie Mae Collins. She was blinded in her right eye from the blast. Later, she provided testimony that led to the convictions for the men who planted the bomb.

The bombing of the church occurred at the height of American Civil Rights and just as Birmingham's public schools were becoming desegregated. These four girls were symbols of the racism and hatred that arose from many of the opponents to equality rights.

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