Mayor William B. Hartsfield speaks on location after the bombing, October 12, 1958. Courtesy of Walter J. Brown Media Archives, WSB Television Newsfilm Collection, University of Georgia Libraries.
Counterblast: How the Atlanta Temple Bombing Strengthened the Civil Rights Cause, an article by Clive Webb
Published on June 22, 2009
Clive Webb revisits the 1958 bombing of the Atlanta Reform Temple, when militant white supremacists expressed their resistance to segregation and civil rights by dynamiting the most prominent symbol of Jewish life and culture in Atlanta. While members of white radical groups like the National States Rights Party hoped the blast would ignite a full-scale race war against Jews and blacks in the South, it instead served to underscore support for Jews and liberal racial attitudes. Using archival material, including letters of support sent after the bombing and propaganda materials from the National States Rights Party, Webb examines the complex ways in which the bombing and its aftermath affected Atlanta's Jews, blacks fighting for civil rights, and segregationist southern whites.