Birmingham’s historic Kelly Ingram Park, site of civil rights rallies, demonstrations and confrontations in the 1960s, now offers visitors a guided audio tour through their mobile phones. In the early 1960s, Kelly Ingram Park became the epicenter of the nation’s Civil Rights Movement. America’s second revolution was a struggle for human rights and simple decency for African-American citizens. The park became the international focus of civil disobedience for blacks demanding equality.
Historic footage of police attack dogs and high-powered fire hoses remain indelibly imprinted on the memories of those who saw the images on televisions and in newspapers around the world in the 1960s. But it was those very images that created the turning point in the struggle for desegregation. Thousands of visitors come from around the world each year to learn about Birmingham’s painful and pivotal role in a nationwide call for civil rights. Sculptures throughout the park are vivid depictions of police dog and fire hose assaults on demonstrators, many of them children. The mobile phone tour guides visitors through the historical significance of each sculpture, using brief but powerful descriptions at each stop. The audio tour was developed by the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau and was funded by a grant from the Alabama Tourism Department. The tour is free and available to anyone with a mobile phone. The dial-in number is 205-307-5455.