Going back into the archives, the NY Times in April 2001.

With the families of four black girls watching solemnly from the front row, prosecutors opened the long-delayed murder trial of Thomas E. Blanton Jr. today by depicting him as a rabid segregationist who helped dynamite the 16th Street Baptist Church in 1963 and then insisted for years on driving obsessively past the scene of the crime.

Doug Jones, the United States attorney here, took jurors back in time to a Birmingham where efforts to desegregate schools and lunch counters met with determined and often violent resistance from whites, including Mr. Blanton and other members of his Ku Klux Klan cell who plotted in the darkness under a Cahaba River bridge.

”There were people, and Thomas E. Blanton was one of them,” Mr. Jones said in his opening statement, ”who saw their segregated way of life dissolving and couldn’t stand it.”

Doug Jones carried Birmingham by a wide margin yesterday.

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