Events of 1963 still helping shape American history

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – As part of CBS42’s coverage of the events leading up to the unveiling of the statue honoring the four girls killed in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, Sherri Jackson traveled to Berkeley, California, where artist Elizabeth MacQueen has been hard at work etching a new page in Birmingham’s history.

However, it’s not the first link between the two cities.

Berkeley, California, experienced its own movement in 1963 when events in Birmingham sparked student demonstrations that birthed what is widely known as the free speech movement.

Protests continued well into the late 1960s in the city.

Now, in 2013, the cities have a chance to recreate the events that helped shape and inspire a nation 50 years ago.

Thus far, there have been reenactments of the Children’s March of 1963, when young people came out in droves to protest segregation.

More recently, thousands of people gathered in August for the reenactment of the March on Washington.

During the original march in 1963, more than 200,000 people gathered for the peaceful protest.

American’s today still utilize the tools of those non-violent protests and acts of civil disobedience.

They’re viewed as historical tools, honed in the civil rights movement and polished in the free speech movement.

From Tea Party rallies to protests about the Stand Your Ground laws inspired by the death of 16-year-old Trayvon Martin, the next chapter of American history is still being written.

Copyright 2013 WIAT-TV CBS 42

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