50th Anniversary Commemoration of Freedom Rides

50th Anniversary Commemoration of Freedom Rides

50 years ago on May 14, 1961, a group of 14 people, black and white, young and old, male and female, rode buses into Alabama to challenge segregated interstate travel.

On Wednesday, May 11, 2011, a Student Freedom Ride, a group of 40 college students chosen from across the US, along with 5 original Freedom Riders, retracing the original route as part of the promotion of a new PBS Documentary stopped overnight in Anniston.  Their reception was far different from that of the original Freedom Riders.

After dinner at The Classic on Noble there was a reception and opening of “Courage Under Fire” photo exhibit  at The Public Library of Anniston-Calhoun County.  This exhibit of iconic images of the burning bus attack taken that day in Anniston by Star photographer, Joe Postiglione, will be on display through July 15.
The next morning, May 12, the Spirit unveiled two murals by artist/muralist, Joseph Giri, along with interpretiv
e signage that commemorates what happened at the Greyhound and Trailways bus stations in 1961. 
On their way out, the Riders also stopped by the site of the Greyhound bus burning on Hwy 202 where Freedom Riders Park is planned.

A big THANK YOU goes out to both Solutia and Alabama Power for their financial support and commitment as well as to all the folks who worked together tirelessly linking all the pieces which proved a positive outcome.

Click here for a complete timeline leading up to and including these historic events.