The Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument [Photos]

In one of his final acts as Chief Executive, President Obama announced that several sites in and around downtown Birmingham, Ala., would be designated as a National Historical Site.

Obama signed the order Thursday, a week before the end of his administration. In it, he also designated other sites central to the civil rights struggle as national monuments. Among them, the 16th Street Baptist Church, where a bombing took the lives of four Black girls and injured 22 others and was a catalyst for the Civil Rights Movement; the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute which allows people to research and study America’s civil rights history; Kelly Ingram Park where Civil Rights protesters gathered in this park for marches; and the A.G. Gaston Motel, where Rev. Martin Luther King often stayed while traveling to Birmingham and which served as a makeshift headquarters for planning out the movement.

The president’s announcement comes in time for the Martin Luther King National Holiday on Monday. Take a look at a gallery of photos of the site.



Dog Boy Officer sculpture, Kelly Ingram Park, Birmingham (Photo: Alan Spears, NPCA)




Revolution Reconciliation stone carving in Kelly Ingram Park (Photo: Alan Spears, NPCA)





Children’s Crusade sign in Kelly Ingram Park (Photo: Alan Spears, NPCA)




May peace be in our homes… at 16th Street Baptist Church (Photo: Alan Spears, NPCA)




Dodging Water Cannon sculpture – Kelly Ingram Park (Photo: Alan Spears, NPCA)




Kelly Ingram Park dove statue (Photo: Alan Spears, NPCA)



Sign and 4 Little Girls Memorial Outside 16th St. Baptist Church (Photo: Alan Spears, NPCA)




A.G. Gaston Motel sign (Photo: Alan Spears, NPCA)




Heritage for Freedom sign in Kelly Ingram Park (Photo: Alan Spears, NPCA)




A.G. Gaston Motel courtyard (Photo: Alan Spears, NPCA)