50 Years Ago Today Freedom Rides Began

Newspaper article
Fifty years ago today, two groups of racially diverse citizens boarded public buses in Washington, D.C. for a trip through the deep South. The Freedom Riders, as they were called, were brave individuals who endured hostility and violence in order to test onerous desegregation laws that divided an entire region of the country. Their bravery set the stage for drastic changes in both societal attitude and legal challenges that would change our nation.

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The Encyclopedia of Alabama has an excellent overview of this important part of the United States' Civil Rights Movement history.

BPL's Digital Collections includes several scrapbooks of contemporary newspaper articles covering the events.
PBS will air a documentary about the Freedom Riders on May 16. There is an online exhibit, timeline, biographies, and additional information to accompany this program. Birmingham Public Library's Archives Department contributed to this production.