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Civil Rights Freedom Riders

Civil Rights Freedom Riders. May 20, 1961. On May 20, 1961, a group of black and white SNCC members led by John Lewis left Birmingham bound for Montgomery on a Greyhound bus. They were determined to continue the "Freedom Ride" from Washington, D.C. to New Orleans that had met with violence in Birmingham. Their purpose was to test a court case, "Boynton vs. Virginia," declaring segregation in bus terminals unconstitutional. Upon arriving in Montgomery, their police escort disappeared, and an angry mob of over 200 Klan supporters attacked and injured them at the Greyhound terminal. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy was so enraged that he sent in 450 U.S. Marshals and thus became active in the movement.

Erected 1995 by Greyhound and Kenneth Mullinax, Jr.

Submitted by: The Freedom Rides Museum, operated by the Alabama Historical Commission.

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