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Afterward they marched downtown, singing "We Shall Overcome," and nearly a thousand youths were arrested.The next day, more young people had arrived to replenish the ranks, and another march occurred.
It also promised to confront the issue of inequality in hiring practices, to grant amnesty to arrested demonstrators, and to create a bi-racial committee for the reconciliation of differences.
As had happened in Montgomery, violence followed the concessions.
By this point, the situation had become overwhelming for Bull Conner, whose jails were full.
On 3 May he had his forces blast the young protestors with fire-hoses, and released attack dogs against them.
It was these acts of violence–broadcast on national television– that pricked the national conscience, and marked a turning point not only in Birmingham but also in the Civil Rights Movement as a whole.
Telegrams flooded the White House conveying outrage, and it became clear that the Kennedy Administration would have to confront civil rights issues more directly.
Throughout the entire letter to the eight clergymen he never gets too far from the fight for equality in Birmingham.
His incredible metaphors truly show his strong nature.
He had been holding off, preoccupied by the Cold War, but Birmingham had pressed the issue.
Kennedy's commitment culminated in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which was signed into law by Lyndon Johnson after Kennedy's assassination.