The Congressional Gold Medal has been posthumously awarded to four girls killed in the 1963 bombing of Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church. President Obama signed the legislation Friday, as (from left) Birmingham Mayor William Bell, Dr. Sharon Malone Holder, Attorney General Eric Holder, Rep. Terri Sewell, and relatives of Denise McNair and Carole Robertson look on.
They were just little girls when they were killed in 1963, in what came to be known as the 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing. And now Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley have been awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, nearly 50 years after the attack in Birmingham, Ala.
President Obama signed the legislation Friday to award the girls — all of them 14, except for McNair, who was 11 — with the highest honor Congress can bestow upon a civilian.