On this day in American history, August 25, 1956 — Montgomery, Alabama, Home of Bus Boycott Supporter Bombed

On the night of April 25, 1956, several sticks of dynamite were thrown into the yard of Pastor Robert Graetz’s Montgomery, Alabama, home where they exploded, breaking the home’s front windows and damaging the front door. A young white minister serving the city’s primarily African American Trinity Lutheran Church, Pastor Graetz was a member of the Montgomery Improvement Association, the community group that had planned and guided the city’s bus boycott to protest racially discriminatory treatment toward black bus riders. Pastor Graetz had been an outspoken supporter of the ongoing bus boycott since it began on December 5, 1955, and was known to regularly provide transportation to boycott participants traveling to and from work.

At the time of the explosion, Pastor Graetz was attending an integration workshop in Tennessee. His wife and children were not at home and no one was injured in the blast. In January 1956, the Montgomery homes of local minister Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and E.D. Nixon, former president of the local NAACP, were bombed. Both men were active boycott leaders.

In response to the bombing of Paster Graetz’s home, Montgomery Mayor W. A. Gayle called it an inside job and claimed the attack was “just a publicity stunt to build up interest of the Negroes in their campaign . . . This latest bombing follows the usual pattern. It’s a strange coincidence that when interest appears to be flagging in the bus boycott something like this happens.” No one was arrested, charged, or convicted for the attack.


“The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) is proud to present A History of Racial Injustice – 2018 Calendar.  America’s history of racial inequality continues to undermine fair treatment, equal justice, and opportunity for many Americans.  The genocide of Native people, the legacy of slavery and racial terror, and the legally supported abuse of racial minorities are not well understood.  EJI believes that a deeper engagement with our nation’s history of racial injustice is important to addressing present-day questions of social justice and equality.


About William Eric Waters, aka Easy Waters

Award-winning poet, playwright and writer. Author of three books of poetry, "Black Shadows and Through the White Looking Glass: Remembrance of Things Past and Present"; "Sometimes Blue Knights Wear Black Hats"; "The Black Feminine Mystique," and a novel, "Streets of Rage." All four books are available on Amazon.com.
This entry was posted in Lest We Forget, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s