Mamie was always targeted by The Public Safety Chief Eugene "Bull" Connors who was a self proclaimed racist. She was jailed on several occasions one time she spent five days in jail under horrible conditions. On Friday May 3, 1963, Bull Connors spotted Mamie and sent the dogs after her. She ran across the street to a doctors office seeking shelter from the vicious dogs, she was cornered. Bull Connors order the Fire Department "to turn the hoses on the niggers so they won't have to take a bath." So they began to hose Mamie, while she was pinned to the wall and alone. Several children made attempts to help her but they weren't successful. Two unidentified young men reached Mamie and used their bodies as shields to absorb some of the water pressure. Many children used their bodies as targets and distractions to help Mamie and the young men. The water pressure was so hard it was like bricks were being hurled at their heads and bodies. Due to the pressure of the water from the hoses, Mamie is now deaf in her right ear.
These events were captured by Black Star Photographer, Charles Moore who later sold the images to Time magazine. Their feature in Time gained national attention - which sparked the Civil Rights Movement and support for Civil Rights changes in 1964. During this era, Mr. Moore followed Mamie throughout the protests, capturing many images of her leading the way. Mamie continued her activism for freedom by attending the March on Washington with Dr. King and others. She bared witnessed to Dr King’s "I Have A Dream"speech.
In 1997 Mamie found out her identity, experiences, accomplishments, and most of all her pride had been claimed by prominent Alabamian Reverend Carolyn Maull Mckinstry author of While the World Watched.
For almost twenty years, Mamie lived in the shadows, ignored and unable to set the records straight. With the aid of her daughter LaSuria (Kandi) Allman,and her successful letter writing campaign, LaSuria wrote letters diligently to anyone she thought would listen to her. LaSuria contacted the Detroit News Frances X. Donnelly he published his article May 2, 2013. Birmingham News Senior reporter Greg Garrison published his article May 3, 2013 50 years to the date of the actual hosing.
In an article published August 23, 2013 by Greg Garrison“Civil rights activist Carolyn McKinstry drops claim she was in famous firehose photo in 1963,” Mckinstry also issued a statement on her website,Words Do Matter, defending her actions by stating she made a mistake in the error of self identification of her image in the Time Life Photo and that it didn't matter who was in the photo. In the book, While the World Watched,she said "But to those of us who marched, the pictures are symbolic of all of us," she wrote. "The images are reflections of courage.
December 10, 2013 Birmingham Alabama Mayor William Bell and City Council presented Mamie with the Key to the City, Her Proclamation and Resolution. In honor of her mothers crusade for justice, LaSuria Allman has written a book "Her Stolen Pride" which is available on Amazon.com and mydiamondpublishing.com/mamie-king-chalmers.html. Mamie has continued her calling by helping others throughout her life and will continue to do so.
Mamie has 9 children, 22 Grandchildren, 3 Great Grandchildren.
-Information via-Pride Restored Intro: Crusade For Justice