The Associated Press

Obama adds Alabama civil rights area to Park Service

Martin Luther King Jr.
FILE - In this April 30, 1966 photo, The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. addresses a crowd of some 3,000 persons in Birmingham, Ala., in Kelly Ingram Park on the last day of his three-day whistle-stop tour of Alabama, encouraging black voters to vote as a bloc in the primary election. President Barack Obama signed an order Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017, designating an historic civil rights district in Birmingham as a national monument, placing several blocks of a city once rocked by racial violence on par with landmarks including the Grand Canyon. (AP Photo/JT, File) Source: The Associated Press

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — President Barack Obama signed an order Thursday designating an historic civil rights district in Alabama as a national monument, placing several blocks of a city once rocked by racial violence on par with landmarks including the Grand Canyon.

The National Park Service will now have oversight of a downtown section of Birmingham, Alabama — a focal point of civil rights struggles in 1963 against harsh enforcement of laws mandating racial segregation.

Obama, who leaves

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