Vintage Greyhound Bus Visiting Freedom Rides Site To Be on Display at Downtown Birmingham Public Library


What: Vintage Greyhound Bus to Visit Freedom Rides Site in Birmingham 
When: Wednesday, May 19, 2021; bus arrives and is open for public tours at 3:00 p.m.; Program  begins at 5:00 p.m.
Where: Parking lot of the Birmingham Public Library, 2100 Park Place, Birmingham, Ala. 35203

Details: A restored vintage Greyhound bus that is part of the Freedom Rides Museum collection will visit Birmingham on Wednesday, May 19, as part of the 60th Anniversary of the Freedom Rides Commemoration. The Freedom Rides Museum, located in Montgomery, Ala., is a historic property of the Alabama Historical Commission.   Original Freedom Riders Catherine Burks Brooks and Rev. Clyde Carter will be on site and available for media interviews. Food trucks will be on site in the Central Library parking lot.

Visitors will have the opportunity to board the vintage Greyhound bus and be immersed in some of the sounds, stories and songs of the Freedom Rides and view a suitcase exhibit encouraging you to envision what it would take to make such a journey. 
The Birmingham Public Library's Archives Department will also feature an exhibit of photos and documents associated with the Freedom Rides, and will have a variety of circulating materials (books and DVDs) available for check-out. 

Interior of vintage Freedom Rides bus.

The bus tour carries out the theme of the year-long commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the Freedom Rides, “Retracing the Journey. Passing the Torch.” The bus will visit Ardmore, Tennessee, and Birmingham before returning to the Freedom Rides Museum on Thursday, May 20. 

Freedom Riders were a group of Black and white activists who participated in Freedom Rides, bus tours of bus stations across the South to protest segregated bus terminals. Participants tried to use "whites only" restrooms and lunch counters at the bus stations and were often confronted with violence by police and white protesters. 

Freedom Riders Catherine Burks Brooks and Rev. Clyde Carter will be available for media interviews. Other participants in the event will be:

*  Rev. Thomas Wilder, Pastor of Bethel Baptist Church in Birmingham's Collegeville community (the late Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, a civil rights leader, was active in helping the Freedom Riders)
*Janine M. Langston, Interim Director of the Birmingham Public Library
* Eddie Griffith, Chairman of the Alabama Historical Commission.

About the Freedom Rides Museum: 

Working with concerned citizens, The Alabama Historical Commission saved the Greyhound Bus Station in Montgomery from demolition in the mid-1990s. It was converted into the Freedom Rides Museum. The Museum is located at 210 S. Court Street, at the intersection of S. Court St. and Adams Avenue in downtown Montgomery. 

An award-winning exhibit on the building's exterior traces the Freedom Riders' history. It uses words and images of the Freedom Riders, those who supported them, and those who opposed them. Interior exhibits highlight additional information on the Freedom Riders and the way in which buildings were designed for racial segregation. Today, the Alabama Historical Commission operates this significant site.

About the Alabama Historical Commission: 

Located in historic downtown Montgomery at 468 S. Perry Street, the Alabama Historical Commission is the state historic preservation agency for Alabama. The agency was created by an act of the state legislature in 1966 with a mission to protect, preserve and interpret Alabama’s historic places. AHC works to accomplish its mission through two fields of endeavor: Preservation and promotion of state-owned historic sites as public attractions; and, statewide programs to assist people, groups, towns, and cities with local preservation activities. 

For a complete list of programs and properties owned and operated by the AHC, hours of operation, and admission fees please visit

About the Birmingham Public Library:

The Birmingham Public Library’s mission is to provide the highest quality library service to our citizens for life-long learning, cultural enrichment, and enjoyment. This system—with 18 locations and serving the community for 135 years—is one of the largest library systems in the southeast. For additional information about the programs and services of the Birmingham Public Library, follow us on Facebook and Twitter @BPL.