The Freedom Riders: A Civil Rights Movement

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The Freedom Riders: A Civil Rights Movement

The Freedom Riders

A civil rights movement

The Freedom Riders have a meal together at a Chinese restaurant that they referred to as their "Last Supper," before they embark on their mission the next day.

13 Freedom Riders, 7 white, 6 black, leave Washington D.C. on two buses. "This was not civil disobedience really, because we would be doing merely what the Supreme Court said we had a right to do." said the director of CORE and leader of the Freedom Riders, James Farmer.

May 3rd, 1961

When arriving in Anniston and Birmingham AL, the riders were met by angry mobs of KKK members who violently attacked them with pipes, baseball bats, and a firebomb. There was not a protective police presence despite the FBI being informed of the ride. Many were badly injured and some couldn't continue the ride, while others were begged to stop from continuing on.

After much resistance, and refreshed with 10 new student riders and promised safe travel to Montgomery, the freedom rides once again resumed. But opun arrival of city limits the police abandoned them and they were once again met by an angry mob. With many ambulences and even hopitals refusing to treat them, they were rescued by local blacks. THe following day, over 1500 gathered and took refuge in a church with Martin Luther King Jr. speaking inside as a mob of 3,000 attacked outside.

After finally arriving in Missippi, the freedom Riders are arrested and serve 60 days in a maximun security prison, but this cannot quench their spirit or songs within the cells, many continued the rides through the summer, in spite of arrests, and Attorney General Robert Kennedy pressed the Interstate Commerce Comission to enforce integration. The New policy took effect on November 1st, and 3 years later, The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed outlawing all segregation in public places in all states.

May 4th, 1961

Student Non-violent Coordinating Committe (SNCC) was founded in April of 1960


May 14th, 1961

May 20-21, 1961

November 1st, 1961


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