Camp Blossom Hill

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Camp Blossom Hill was a 59-acre Girl Scout camp located off Tarrant-Huffman Road in Birmingham's Brummitt Heights neighborhood, north of the Birmingham Municipal Airport. The camp hosted African American girls from throughout Northern and Central Alabama.

Late on the evening of June 8, 1948 a group of 8-10 hooded Ku Klux Klan members emerged from a convoy of as many as 20 cars and woke campers to demand the names of those present and began rifling through billfolds. They told two white scout leaders, Kathleen Nickel and Mary Ijams, that they were looking for "cards with hammers and sickles on them." They replied that the only literature in the camp was on "Girl Scout training procedures." Before leaving the men warned the campers not to remain another night.

The incident was widely reported and condemned nationally. Despite an investigation by local police and the FBI, the perpetrators were never caught or prosecuted. The raid, along with another one two days later at Camp Fletcher in Bessmer, prompted Birmingham attorney Abe Berkowitz to form a coalition of business and civic groups to demand better enforcement against Klan terrorism. In 1949 Governor Jim Folsom Sr signed an "Anti-Masking Bill" aimed at reducing Klan activity.


  • "Alabama Officers Are Checking Scout Story" (June 9, 1948) Associated Press