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Wed Jun 17, 2020, 10:08 AM

Time to remember the Freedom Rides that started in the spring of 1961

[Timeline, info at history.com]

SCOTUS had given decision that there could be no segregation on buses in interstate transportation or in eating establishments, waiting rooms, etc that served them.

Young black and white students decided to test that. There was publicity when they started (and priny and TV media followed the buses), so people knew their route and when they would be coming. Sometimes the bus would be stopped at the border of a southern state, and the state troopers would go into the bus and tell the blacks to go to the back of the bus.

One of the first had a flat tire or something near Anniston AL. Some whites in following cars threw a bomb into the bus, catching it on fire. The riders were able to escape and got to a hospital.

An early bus was met in Birmingham by a white mob, many armed with lead pipes. The white cops stood by while the riders were severely beaten.

A white confident of JFK (maybe in the DOJ?) was at one of the stations where riders were being beaten. He escaped being beaten himself and called Kennedy to tell him it was really, really bad.

(There's lots of info about the Rides in Taylor Branch's trilogy about MLK)

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Reply Time to remember the Freedom Rides that started in the spring of 1961 (Original post)
bobbieinok Jun 2020 OP
Hoyt Jun 2020 #1
bobbieinok Jun 2020 #3
bobbieinok Jun 2020 #6
young_at_heart Jun 2020 #2
crickets Jun 2020 #4
bobbieinok Jun 2020 #5

Response to bobbieinok (Original post)

Wed Jun 17, 2020, 10:32 AM

1. Some true American heroes.





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Response to Hoyt (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 17, 2020, 11:23 AM

3. Thank you very much for the pictures?please add the source---would like more

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Response to bobbieinok (Reply #3)

Wed Jun 17, 2020, 11:43 AM

6. Found YouTube The American Experience Freedom Rides The Turning Point

There are more YouTube videos on the Rides, this one is from PBS

I forget that YouTube is often a good source

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Response to bobbieinok (Original post)

Wed Jun 17, 2020, 11:08 AM

2. I remember being horrified.....in shock, actually.

I was a college student in California at the time and could not believe what I saw on the nightly news!

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Response to young_at_heart (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 17, 2020, 11:27 AM

4. "could not believe what I saw on the nightly news"

That describes the '60s pretty well overall. Though not all of the news was bad, when it was bad... sigh.

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Response to bobbieinok (Original post)

Wed Jun 17, 2020, 11:30 AM

5. IIRC, Branch says whites tried to block the doors of the burning bus near Anniston!!

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