Mammoth Cave National Park is in central Kentucky and protects part of Mammoth Cave, the longest cave system in the world. It is a World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve. The Green River runs through the park. Many sets of Native American remains have been found in Mammoth Cave. The cave was even made into a tuberculosis hospital in 1842-1843. That didn’t end well.
On our way south, we stopped at Dueling Grounds Distillery and bought bourbon.
We then headed through Tennessee and Alabama. We made a quick drive through Birmingham to see the 16th Street Baptist Church. The 16th Street Baptist Church bombing on September 15, 1963 was tragic and heartbreaking. The KKK bombed the African American church in an act of terrorism and killed four girls. The church served as a headquarters and rallying point for protests during the Civil Rights Movement. Thomas Blanton, Bobby Frank Cherry and Robert Chambliss of the KKK planted dynamite outside the church basement. This bombing was one of a series of more than 45 bombings within the decade. Photo from http://www.michele-norris.com.
We then headed to Oxford, Mississippi, home of Ole Miss. We walked around the campus and found the Civil Rights Monument commemorating James Meredith. He was the first African American to attend Ole Miss in 1962, integrating the University of Mississippi.