Alabama Attorney General’s 1976 Letter Told KKK Off In 3 Short Words
In 1970, shortly after being elected Attorney General of Alabama, Bill Baxley reopened the 16th Street Church bombing case – a racially motivated act of terrorism that resulted in the deaths of four African-American girls at Birmingham’s 16th Street Baptist Church in 1963. Baxley’s commitment to the case attracted much hostility, particularly from local Klansmen, and in 1976 he received a threatening letter of protest from white supremacist Edward R. Fields -founder of the “National States’ Rights Party” and “Grand Dragon” of the New Order Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Fields accused Baxley of reopening the case for tactical reasons.
In an interview recently recorded at WBHM, Baxley spoke to NPR’s Audie Cornish about the letter he received and his response. Listen to the interview.
Baxley continues to practice law in Birmingham.