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Survivor of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing speaks out

A new exhibit called "Little People Who Made a Big Impact on America" at Mama's Attic in North Omaha is shedding light on African-Americans who brought about change. The exhibit features the one survivor - Sarah Collins Rudolph - from the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham.
Posted at 5:58 PM, Feb 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-09 18:58:51-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - Almost 60 years later, Sarah Collins Rudolph vividly remembers the morning of Sept. 15, 1963. That's the day Ku Klux Klan members bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham.

"I knew then and there that I was injured. When the debris came in, glass was in both of my eyes and I was blinded," Collins Rudolph said.

Rudolph was rushed to the hospital. She ended up getting her right eye removed and her body is still damaged.

"When I went to go to see my eye doctor, he still sees a piece of glass in my left eye that's just sitting there. He don't want to remove it because he said something might go wrong and I go blind," Rudolph said.

She is a survivor but the bombing still affects her physically and mentally.

"I still see the scars on my face. I don't see as well as I used to. When I hear a loud noise, I still jump," Rudolph said.

The tragedy killed four little girls including her little sister, Addie May.

"I really miss Addie because we were so close," Rudolph said.

Rudolph's life was forever changed after a bombing struck the church but her faith in humanity will not be shaken.

"Love is of God and hate is of the devil, so we've got to follow the word in order to live in this world peacefully," Rudolph said.

If you are interested in seeing the exhibit, it's free by calling (402) 740-6034 or emailing