Fifty-one years before nine people were killed during the mass shooting in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on June 17, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina, there was another infamous attack on a Southern black church.

On September 15, 1963, the Ku Klux Klan bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Four young girls were murdered—Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson, Addie Mae Collins and Denise McNair.

Gwen Moten was best friends with Denise (pictured below), and she recently sat down to remember her for StoryCorps.


Originally aired June 26, 2015, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Photo courtesy of the 4 Little Girls Memorial Fund.