The 16th Street Baptist Church, site of the September 15, 1963, bombing in Birmingham, Ala., in July 2018. Photo: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images
The last surviving Ku Klux Klansmen who bombed a predominately Black church in Birmingham, Ala., in 1963, killing four girls, died from natural causes while serving a life sentence, Gov. Kay Ivey announced on Friday.
Why it matters, per AP: The bombing exposed "the depths of hatred by white supremacists as Birmingham integrated its public schools" and served as a tipping point in the Civil Rights Movement.
Details: The bombing, carried out by Thomas Edwin Blanton Jr. and three other men, killed the girls and injured more than 20 other people inside the church, according to the FBI.
What she's saying: “Let us never forget that Sunday morning in September of 1963 and the four young ladies whose lives ended far too soon, but let us continue taking steps forward to heal, do better and honor those who sacrificed everything for Alabama and our nation to be a home of opportunity for all," Ivey said in a statement.