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The Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, 1963

Posted by Laurie Frost on July 4, 2013

Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, Birmingham, Alabama

Carol Highsmith’s photo of the Wales window at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church.
Credit: The George F. Landegger Collection of Alabama Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith’s America, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. [LC-DIG-highsm-05063]

I have a new blog: Long Time Coming at  http://longtimecoming1963.wordpress.com/.

I’ve been neglecting my other blogs lately because I have been helping a friend by putting his mother’s book up as a blog. This is the fiftieth anniversary of the turning point in the Civil Rights Era in the US, and his mother, Elizabeth H. Cobbs, risked her life in 1977 to testify against her uncle by marriage, Robert Chambliss, who largely through her testimony was the first bomber of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church to be convicted. She cooperated fully with the FBI in 1963, and had this become known, the Ku Klux Klan would have killed her, but her efforts then were futile because FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover decided to shelve the case indefinitely.

If you are unfamiliar with this event, briefly, on September 15, 1963, a bomb exploded in the basement of a black Baptist church in Birmingham, Alabama, killing four young girls, and seriously injuring a fifth. You may have heard of Spike Lee’s film, 4 Little Girls

This is what I wrote on the home page of Long Time Coming

This website presents in full the original text of Long Time Coming: An Insider’s Story of the Birmingham Church Bombing That Rocked The World written by Elizabeth H. Cobbs/Petric J. Smith and published by Crane Hill Publishers in 1994.

The author died in 1998.

Crane Hill Publishers is no longer operating, and Long Time Coming is out-of-print. The Estate of Petric J. Smith is making this digital edition available so that the story of the long journey to the conviction of Robert Chambliss for the death of Denise McNair in the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, is accessible to a wider audience.  . . .

This digital edition takes advantage of its formatting by adding hyperlinks to the text. New pictures, which unless otherwise noted are in the public domain and available at the Library of Congress’s website, have also been included.

As I worked on the blog, I added public domain pictures to illustrate the story.

And as always with images of contemporary America, my best source was the The George F. Landegger Collection of Alabama Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith’s America, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

Carol Highsmith has placed over 100,000 images in the public domain through her archive at the Library of Congress. She is now going state by state, capturing even more images of contemporary America.

For my purposes, I was fortunate that the first state she was able to cover was Alabama. You can read about that here.

I used a number of her photographs of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, the Civil Rights Institute, and Kelly Ingram Park in Birmingham in Long Time Coming. Here are just a few examples: 

 

Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, Birmingham, Alabama

Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, Birmingham, Alabama. The George F. Landegger Collection of Alabama Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith’s America, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-DIG-highsm-05091

 

Sculpture dedicated to the Foot Soldiers of the Birmingham Civil Rights Movement. Kelly Ingram Park, Birmingham, Alabama

Sculpture dedicated to the Foot Soldiers of the Birmingham Civil Rights Movement. Kelly Ingram Park, Birmingham, Alabama. The George F. Landegger Collection of Alabama Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith’s America, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. LC-DIG-highsm-05100

Ku Klux Klan exhibit, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Birmingham, Alabama. Credit: The George F. Landegger Collection of Alabama Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith’s America, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division [LC-DIG-highsm-05074]

 

For historical photos, the Library of Congress was also my best source. Examples:

2.  GENERAL PERSPECTIVE VIEW OF SOUTHEAST (FRONT) AND NORTHEAST SIDE FROM KELLY-INGRAM PARK - Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, 1530 Sixth Avenue North, Birmingham, Jefferson County, AL

GENERAL PERSPECTIVE VIEW OF SOUTHEAST (FRONT) AND NORTHEAST SIDE FROM KELLY-INGRAM PARK – Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, 1530 Sixth Avenue North, Birmingham, Jefferson County, AL. Library of Congress, HABS ALA,37-BIRM,33–2.

Ku Klux Klan, between 1921 and 1922. Library of Congress. LC-DIG-npcc-30454

[Group of African Americans viewing the

Bomb-damaged home of Arthur Shores, NAACP attorney, Birmingham, Alabama. Photo by Marion Trikoskco, 1963 Sept. 5. LC-DIG-ppmsca-03194

[Federalized National Guard troops on the campus of the University of Alabama, June 11, 1963 when African Americans Vivian Malone and James Hood registered for classes]

Federalized National Guard troops on the campus of the University of Alabama, June 11, 1963 when African Americans Vivian Malone and James Hood registered for classes. Photo by Warren Leffler. LC-DIG-ds-01108

Mugshots are in the public domain:

Mugshot of Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bomber Robert Chambliss, arrested September 26, 1977 for murder.

Frankly, were it not for Carol Highsmith’s incredible generosity in placing her work in the public domain, and the U.S. News & World Report magazine photograph collection at the Library of Congress [Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on work taken by staff photographers. Other material may be restricted by copyright. For more inforamtion, see U.S. News … (http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/res/078_usnw.html)], photographs for which permission need not be asked or licensing fees paid were hard to find.

—–

Note: On the Long Time Coming blog, you will also see photos with the note: Property of the Birmingham Public Library.  These are not in the public domain. I included these in that blog, but not in this one, because they also appear in the print version of Long Time Coming, meaning Elizabeth Cobbs/Petric J. Smith or Crane Hill Publishers secured permission for their use in 1994, and I am waiting to hear if that permission extends to digital editions. Meanwhile, I have included them there under Fair Use provisions, since the blog is not-for-profit but for educational purposes.

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Posted in Carol Highsmith, Historical, Library of Congress, People, Places | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, 1963

Flickr Commons: Stockholm Transport Museum

Posted by Laurie Frost on March 21, 2012

These images from the Flickr Commons are in the photostream provided by the Stockholm Transport Museum.

Artificial limbs aren’t what immediately come to mind when thinking of photos from a transportation museum, but they certainly do provide a means of movement.

Aftermath of the second world war. Shop window in London 1946. http://flic.kr/p/aDK9gJ

Also in London, a nice view of double-decker buses.

Victoria bus station in London in 1927.
http://flic.kr/p/agqEGX

Elevator in the London underground. http://flic.kr/p/aDdJii

This next one is interesting: old means facilitating new.

Installation of trolley bus wires with horse-drawn carriage assembly 1944. By Börje Gallén. http://flic.kr/p/ahH4i5

I like how you can see the snow fall in this next shot:

Stureplan, Stockholm in the winter of 1957. By Gunnar Ekelund. http://flic.kr/p/agqFGM

Trams on Stureplan in Stockholm in 1949. By Gunnar Ekelund. http://flic.kr/p/agtqib

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Christmas Cats

Posted by Laurie Frost on December 15, 2011

Stumbled across while browsing at random in the Library of Congress’s Prints & Photographs Online Catalog: cats at Christmas and having a pillow fight. Why not?

Cats decorating Christmas tree. By Louis Wain. 1906. LC-D416-29198

A Christmas catastrophe : please, sir, the rat entree has escaped and eaten the turkey. By Louis Wain. 1906. LC-D416-29197

“May every cat grow sleek and fat on turkey this Christmas Day” on sign above cat standing near center of table.

Cats in the dormitory. By Louis Wain. 1906 LC-D416-29199

And sending you greetings:

LC-USZ62-84135

by John Scott Clubb. Published in the Rochester Herald, December 25, 1913.

And feasting and imbibing  and overdoing both:

LC-USZC2-3074

LC-USZC2-3073

By Currier and Ives,  c 1871.

Posted in Animals, Historical, Library of Congress | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Christmas Cats

Comparing Contemporary and Historical Public Domain Images

Posted by Laurie Frost on August 17, 2010

Judging from the search terms that land people at this blog, it seems a lot of people are looking for public domain images of structures throughout the world. Earlier this year I had a series of posts offering contemporary views from the CIA Factbook, but the problem with many of those is that they are no better composed than your average tourist shot. If you don’t require current views, you may be just as well off choosing one over a hundred years old from the Library of Congress’s [LoC] catalogue.

In this post, for current views, use Credit: CIA Factbook; old views; Credit: Library of Congress [image ID].

Here we have St.  Andre’s [St. Andrew’s] Church, Kiev, Russia (Ukraine) [LC-DIG-ppmsc-03822] between 1890 and 1900 and, next, today.

[St. Andre's Church, Kiev, Russia, (i.e., Ukraine)]

 

The church has been spiffed up quite a bit in recent years, and if you could crop out that annoying wire and don’t need the whole church, the Factbook’s view is hard to resist — the colors are lovely. I can’t figure out why in the old picture the church seems to tilt when the trees and telephone pole (?) on the left don’t.

In some cases, things have definitely changed around the structure, if not so much to it. Here’s outside the South Gate, on one of the main highways of the Hermit Capitol, Seoul, Korea in 1904  [LC-USZ62-72551]:

Outside the South Gate, on one of the main highways of the Hermit Capitol, Seoul, Korea

and today:

There’s been little change to Alexander’s Column, St. Petersburg, Russia, between 1890 and 1900 [LOT 13419, no. 115] and today, but in this case, the older picture is the better one, I think.

[Alexander's Column, St. Petersburg, Russia]

 

The contrast between these next two images is interesting. First, the Factbook’s contemporary view of  “Part of the Hangman’s Bridge (Henkersteg; built 1457) in Nuremberg. The city executioner used to live in the tower and the roofed walk above the River Pegnitz. Considered a ‘persona non grata,’ the hangman was avoided by the citizens of the city.” Next, from the LoC, an albumen print from some time between 1860 and 1890 of the same structure [#94512777]. The water level seems to have risen, and the covered part of the bridge has received some paint, but otherwise not much has changed in the past 120 to 150 years, except the tower no longer houses a hangman.

In Antwerp, Belgium, the City Hall (Stadhuis) also doesn’t seem to have changed much in the past 100-120 years (LoC dating; #2001697875) in spite of two world wars. Then again, even before the turn of the 20th century, it had seen much; the building was erected between 1561 and 1565.

 Here’s a painting of pilgrims at Lourdes, France,  published by Currier & Ives some time between 1856 and 1907 [LC-USZC2-2915]. The caption from the Factbook for the next image reads, “Pilgrims and visitors at Lourdes. The Rosary Basilica in the foreground serves as an entranceway to the larger Basilica of the Immaculate Conception behind.”

Pilgrims at the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes

Again, depending on your purpose, you might prefer this photochrom print from the last decade of the 1800s of  the monument of Alexander II, Helsingfors, Russia [ i.e., Helsinki, Finland] [ LOT 13419, no. 023]  since the Helsinki Cathedral seems to be undergoing some repairs in this Factbook shot.

[Monument of Alexander II, Helsingfors, Russia, i.e., Helsinki, Finland]

Posted in CIA World Factbook, Historical, Library of Congress, Places | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Comparing Contemporary and Historical Public Domain Images

Adam Smith, Dorothea Dix, Billie Holiday, Ty Cobb, and the Romanovs

Posted by Laurie Frost on July 17, 2010

What do economist  Adam Smith, activist Dorothea Dix, singer Billie Holiday, baseball player Ty Cobb, and the last of the Russian royals, the Romanovs, have in common?

All died on July 17.

All images are from the Library of Congress.

Adam Smith (1723-1790) was a Scottish philosopher whose study Wealth of Nations secured his reputation as a founding father of free market economics.

Adam Smith

LC-USZ62-17407

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Drums!

Posted by Laurie Frost on July 6, 2010

In honor of Ringo Starr’s 70th birthday (July 7), here are a selection of drums  and drummers drumming from the Library of Congress‘s online collections.  There are “no known restrictions” on publication for these images.

New York, New York. Sunny Greer, drummer for Duke Ellington

New York, New York. Sunny Greer, drummer for Duke Ellington. By Gordon Parks, 1943. LC-USW3-023938-C

[Devils beating drum]

Devils beating drum, 1870. LC-USZ62-897

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Posted in Historical, Library of Congress, People, Places | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Summer Solstice

Posted by Laurie Frost on June 21, 2010

What these images have in common is that they all pertain in some way to the summer solstice or midsummer, starting with an engraving based on Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, courtesy of the Library of Congress (the source for the other pictures as well, unless otherwise noted).

Shakspeare [sic] - Midsummer Nights Dream Act IV Scene I--A wood - Titiania [i.e., Titania], queen of the fairies, Bottom, fairies attending & etc. /

Shakspeare [sic] – Midsummer Nights Dream Act IV Scene I–A wood – Titiania [i.e., Titania], queen of the fairies, Bottom, fairies attending & etc. 1796.  Painted by H. Fuseli, R.A. ; engraved by I.P. Simon.  LC-DIG-pga-02780

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Posted in Library of Congress, Places | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

BP’s Filthy Mess: Public Domain Images of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico

Posted by Laurie Frost on May 8, 2010

If you are looking for public domain images of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the US Coast Guard’s photo gallery is worth a look. This post’s images, along with their captions, are courtesy of the Coast Guard.

NEW ORLEANS – Fire boat response crews battle the blazing remnants of the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon April 21, 2010. A Coast Guard MH-65C dolphin rescue helicopter and crew document the fire aboard the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon, while searching for survivors April 21, 2010. Multiple Coast Guard helicopters, planes and cutters responded to rescue the Deepwater Horizon’s 126 person crew. (100421-G-XXXXL- 003  U.S. Coast Guard photo)

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Posted in Places, US Coast Guard | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Lesser Known Volcanos of the USA

Posted by Laurie Frost on April 20, 2010

Next month marks the 30th anniversary of the eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington State. But did you know that in the United States alone there are 169 volcanoes defined as active by the U.S. Geological Survey and that 54 of these are considered to pose a threat to the public?  Here’s a map of the 169 from the U.S. Geological Survey [USGS], which is also the source of  the map’s caption, as well as the other public domain images and information in this post.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is responsible for monitoring our Nation’s 170 active volcanoes (red triangles) for signs of unrest and for issuing timely warnings of hazardous activity to government officials and the public. This responsibility is carried out by scientists at the five volcano observatories operated by the USGS Volcano Hazards Program and also by State and university cooperators.

Just this past August (8/20/09), Shishaldin Volcano on Unimak Island, part of Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, was erupted. [Photographer: Cyrus Read, U.S. Geological Survey]

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Posted in Places, US Geological Survey | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

CIA World Factbook Photos, 16: Ireland and the United Kingdom

Posted by Laurie Frost on April 13, 2010

Today’s public domain images are of the British Isles: Ireland and the United Kingdom.

The CIA World Factbook doesn’t list Wales, England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland separately; they are all included under United Kingdom. But I have broken them out here. However, you won’t find a section for Northen Ireland since there were no photos in the Factbook to choose from.

Scotland

Eilean Donan Castle (1220), Loch Duichear, Kyle of Lochalsh, Scotland.

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