First Freedom Riders were Beaten Bloody, but They Inspired a Movement
May 3, 2011

Fifty years ago today, two buses left Washington, D.C., in the first of what would become known as the Freedom Rides. On board was an interracial group determined to desegregate bus terminals across the Deep South. New Orleans was the intended endpoint, but the vehicles never made it: 10 days into the ride, the Greyhound bus was firebombed in Anniston, Ala., and riders on the Trailways bus were beaten bloody by a mob in Birmingham. But the violence did end the effort, instead spurring a Freedom Rides movement that would span the rest of the year and included a total of 436 riders, most of them students, on 60 more train and bus trips….Read More

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