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Church-Bombing-Chronology

May 17, 2000

_Sept. 15, 1963: A dynamite bomb explodes outside Sunday services at the Sixteenth Baptist Church, killing 11-year-old Denise McNair, 14-year-olds Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Addie Mae Collins, and injuring 20 others.

_May 13, 1965: An FBI memorandum to director J. Edgar Hoover concludes that ``the bombing was the handiwork of former Klansmen Robert E. Chambliss, Bobby Frank Cherry, Herman Frank Cash 1/8and 3/8 Thomas E. Blanton, Jr.″

_1968: The FBI closes its investigation without filing charges.

_1971: Alabama Attorney General Bill Baxley reopens investigation.

_Nov. 18, 1977: Chambliss convicted on a state murder charge and sentenced to life in prison.

_1980: Justice Department report concludes that Hoover had blocked prosecution of the Klansmen in 1965, rejecting recommendations from the Birmingham FBI office that testimony identifying the suspects be forwarded to federal prosecutors.

_Oct. 29, 1985: Chambliss dies in prison, still professing his innocence.

_1988: Alabama Attorney General Don Siegelman reopens the case.

_Feb. 7, 1994: Cash dies.

_July 10, 1997: FBI reopens its investigation after receiving a tip.

_Oct. 27, 1998: Federal grand jury in Alabama begins hearing evidence.

_Spring 2000: Cherry is arrested on charges that he molested a former stepdaughter 29 years earlier. He is later extradited to Shelby County, Ala., and released on bail. Cherry denies the charges and says he was not involved with the Birmingham bombing.

_May 17, 2000: Blanton surrenders after a murder indictment is returned by Alabama grand jury.

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