The Story Behind Newsweek’s 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing Cover

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Among many haunting images from the aftermath of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham is a Newsweek magazine cover from 1963. It shows Maxine McNair, whose daughter Denise died in the blast, grieving with her sister. That photograph came about in an unexpected way.

Reggie Holder stumbled across the story when he oversaw a homeless ministry at Highlands United Methodist Church in Birmingham. Holder says among the many people who came through the church was a man named John Friedel.

Holder says several churches helped find an apartment for Friedel. So he was no longer living on the streets when he died in 2010.

~ Andrew Yeager, September 13, 2013