city: birmingham

molton hotel

from civil rights posted in history by donkeyoti

Commissioner of Public Safety for the city of Birmingham, Alabama and über-racist, Eugene "Bull" Connor, liked to spend his mornings at the Molton Hotel, drinking shots of Ol' Grand-Dad bourbon at the bar.

When Martin Luther King and his entourage decided to bring the civil rights struggle to Birmingham, the plan was to get Bull Connor to "tip his hand" as a reaction to peaceful protests.

Bull Connor did. His troops responded to a walk-out of students with fire hoses and snarling German Shepherds. This was captured in photos that landed on the cover the major papers in America the next day. The civil rights movement gained support from the shocked moderates of the country, and within a year a series of civil rights laws were passed.

The Molton was torn down in 1979, replaced by the Financial Center which stands there today.

*source: David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell.

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