|Subject: More on the death of Chris McNair, father of 11-year-old girl killed in KKK's 1963 bombing of a black church. ...
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Date Posted: Thursday, May 09, 11:24:47am
In reply to:
's message, "I also remember him. One of the best documentaries I've ever seen." on Thursday, May 09, 05:33:48am
Chris McNair, father of 11-year-old girl killed in KKK's 1963 bombing of a black church,
and one of first African-American elected members of Alabama Legislature, dies age 93. …
By Valerie Edwards For Dailymail.com and Associated Press
May 9, 2019
=Denise was one of four girls killed in the 1963 Birmingham church bombing
=Bomb, which was placed by Ku Klux Klan members, ripped through the church,
and also killed Addie Collins, 14, Carole Robertson, 14, and Cynthia Wesley, 14
=McNair became one of first African-American members of Alabama Legislature
since Reconstruction when he was elected as a state representative in 1973
=He later became a longtime member of the Jefferson County Commission
=McNair was convicted in 2006 of bribery and conspiracy in connection
with Jefferson County sewer construction and sentenced to five years in prison
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. —
Chris McNair, the father of one of four young girls killed in the 1963 bombing of an Alabama church, died on Wednesday. He was 93.
His family confirmed his death in a statement.
'We are grateful for the life and legacy of our father,' said J. Christopher McNair. 'He was a man who loved his family and this community. We ask for prayers and privacy as we prepare to lay him to rest,' his family said in a statement.
...McNair's daughter Denise, 11, was one of four girls killed when a powerful bomb went off outside Birmingham's
Sixteenth Street Baptist Church on September 15, 1963, amid white opposition to the desegregation of public schools.
The bomb, which was placed by Ku Klux Klan members, ripped through the church and also killed Addie Mae Collins, 14, Carole Robertson, 14, and 14-year-old Cynthia Wesley.
Thomas Edwin Blanton Jr was the second of three people convicted in the bombing. Blanton is the only church bomber still living behind bars.
Robert Chambliss was convicted in 1977, and Bobby Frank Cherry, convicted in 2002, They both died in prison.
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin said in a statement: 'Mr. McNair
and his family are forever tied to our country's civil-rights legacy.'
...'When he tragically lost his daughter Denise in the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church
bombing in 1963, his courage and fortitude fueled our march for peace,' Woodfin said.
McNair became one of the first African-American members of the Alabama Legislature since Reconstruction when he was elected as a state representative in 1973.
Before McNair served time, he worked as a successful photographer for nearly 50 years documenting the civil rights movement and everyday life in Birmingham. He later became a longtime member of the Jefferson County Commission.
McNair was convicted in 2006 of bribery and conspiracy in connection with Jefferson County sewer construction and sentenced to five years in prison.
He had been a part of the scandal that resulted in a then-record municipal bankruptcy over more than $4billion in debts.
He had been scheduled for release on October 13, 2015, but was released early, on August 29, 2013 under a Federal Bureau of Prisons policy to release elderly or sick inmates convicted of non-violent offenses after they serve a majority of their sentence. Doug Jones represented him on his petition for early release. He was freed in time to participate in events honoring the 50th anniversary of the bombing that killed his daughter, seen here with wife Maxine. …
...Chris McNair He was a native of Arkansas who came to Alabama to attend and graduate from Tuskegee Institute, where he met Maxine Pippen in 1945.
McNair served in the U.S. Army during the later months of World War II before returning to college, graduating in 1949.
He and Maxine were married in 1950 and moved to Birmingham, where he worked as a milkman. Denise was born in 1951.
McNair opened a photography studio in 1962. Chris McNair Studios on 6th Avenue South in South Titusville later expanded into a multi-faceted business including a frame shop, art gallery and meeting space. A small exhibit area in the gallery served as a memorial to Denise's memory. McNair's two other daughters, Lisa and Kim, both worked in the gallery.
The family released the following statement on McNair's death:
"We are saddened to announce the passing of Chris McNair, a devoted husband, father, brother and friend. McNair, a former
Jefferson County Commissioner and State Representative, died Wednesday afternoon at his home in southwest Birmingham. He was 93.
A native of Fordyce, Arkansas, McNair came to Alabama to attend Tuskegee Institute. He remained in Alabama after completing college, working a variety of jobs before opening his own photography business. McNair and his wife Maxine experienced the tragedy of the civil rights era when their oldest daughter, Denise, was killed in the bombing of Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in 1963. Still, they responded with love for the community. In the early 70s, McNair led an effort to have Birmingham named an All American City. Also, in 1973, he began a career in politics. He was elected to two terms in the Alabama House of Representatives, and served as chairman of the Jefferson County Delegation. In 1986, he was elected to the Jefferson County Commission. He served there until his resignation in 2001.
"We are grateful for the life and legacy of our father, J. Christopher McNair.
He was a man who loved his family and this community. We ask for prayers and privacy as we prepare to lay him to rest."
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin shared this statement:
“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of former state legislator and Jefferson County Commissioner Chris McNair, who passed away today at age 93. Mr. McNair and his family are forever tied to our country’s civil-rights legacy. When he tragically lost his daughter Denise in the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing in 1963, his courage and fortitude fueled our march for peace. He was the consummate family man, showcasing an unconditional love for humanity that paved the way for social justice in Birmingham and in our nation. ...Please keep Maxine McNair and the couple’s daughters, Lisa and Kimberly, in your prayers during this difficult time.
"May we take comfort in knowing that Chris has reunited with his beloved Denise.”
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