March 18, 1922
The Rev. Frederick Lee “Fred” Shuttlesworth was a U.S. civil rights activist and minister born on this day in Mount Meigs. Shuttlesworth pastored Bethel Baptist Church in Birmingham from 1953 to 1961. The church served as headquarters and a frequent meeting place for the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR), which Shuttlesworth founded in 1956. He was also a co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and initiated and was instrumental in the 1963 Birmingham Campaign during the civil rights movement. Shuttlesworth also fought homelessness in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he took up a pastorate in 1961. He returned to Birmingham after his retirement in 2007. Shuttlesworth received the presidential Citizens Medal from President Bill Clinton in 2001. The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in 2002 established the annual Fred L. Shuttleworth Human Rights Award as a tribute to his leadership and courage. Shuttlesworth died Oct. 5, 2011 at the age of 89. In 2008, the Birmingham Airport Authority approved changing the name of Birmingham’s airport in honor of Shuttlesworth.
Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama or Biography.
Bethel Baptist Church, 3233 29th Avenue North, Birmingham, 1995. From 1953 to 1961, the Rev. Fred Lee Shuttlesworth pastored Bethel. The church served as headquarters and a frequent meeting place for the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR), which Shuttlesworth founded in 1956. (Jet Lowe, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)
The Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, c. 1970-1980. (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)
The Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, crouching center, and Freedom Riders discuss plans at the Birmingham Greyhound Terminal after drivers refused them service. Freedom Riders are, clockwise from left: Ed Blankenheim (kneeling), Charles Person, Theodore Gaffney, James Peck, the Rev. Benjamin Cox, Moses Newson and Simeon Booker. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of The Birmingham News)
Civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr.(foreground), Fred Shuttlesworth (left) and Ralph Abernathy (right) attend a voter-registration drive at the Dallas County Courthouse in Selma in January 1965. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of The Birmingham News)
The Rev. Fred Lee Shuttlesworth (1922-2011) was a central figure in Alabama’s civil rights movement. He founded the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights in Birmingham in 1956, and along with the Revs. Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph David Abernathy, orchestrated the Birmingham Campaign of 1963. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, Birmingham Public Libraries)
Statue of the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, former civil rights activist, Birmingham, 2010. (The George F. Landegger Collection of Alabama Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith’s America, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)
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