Freedom Riders Park: Anniston, Alabama

Master Plan

In early 1961, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), headed by James Farmer, set out organizing interracial groups to ride interstate buses through the south to test the Supreme Court rulings.

Farmer and CORE were also testing the newly-elected Kennedy Administration seeing if they would

support the movement.

On May 4, 1961, participants journeyed to the deep South, this time including women as well as men and testing segregated bus terminals as well. On May 14, 1961 the riders were met with severe violence. In Anniston, Alabama, one of the buses was fire-bombed and passengers were beaten by a white mob. White mobs also attacked Freedom Riders in Montgomery and Birmingham.

The Freedom Rides and Freedom Riders of 1961 provided an important boost to the civil rights movement. The Rides brought new momentum, new energy, and a broadening constituency to the movement. The grass roots nature of its participants also empowered the cause in a new way, directly influencing, and helping inspire, other activities that followed- from the march on Washington in August 1963 and the Freedom Summer movement in Mississippi in 1964, to landmark federal legislation culminating in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the voting Rights Act of 1965.

The Memorial tells the Freedom Riders’ stories and the events of that May14th day in 1961.

1543 Brobridge Drive / Jackson, Mississippi 39211

 tel (601) 957-9660 


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