1960-1973 Revolution: A Question Of Authority

The tumult of the time assaulted America's social stability

Bull Connor thought he knew a thing or two about power. In May 1963 the public-safety commissioner of Birmingham, Ala., was ready to use water cannons and attack dogs on a group of civil rights demonstrators led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The protesters responded in a way Connor found hard to fathom--they knelt in the street and prayed. "Let them turn their water on," said one. "Let them use their dogs. We are not leaving. Forgive them." Connor gave the order to mow down the marchers, and television beamed the scene to a horrified world. Among the viewers...

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