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Freedom Riders

Recreated by: twhistory

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Freedom riders were civil rights activists that rode interstate buses into the segregated southern United States to test the United States Supreme Court decision Boynton v. Virginia. The first Freedom Ride left Washington, D.C., on May 4, 1961.

Historical Figures

  • Pauline KnightPart of the May 28 wave of Freedom Riders from the Nashville Student Movement, Pauline Knight-Ofusu escaped the violence of the earlier rides. Pauline ...

  • Leo LillardAfter taking part in the 2nd and most brutal ride, Leo Lillard became a strong supporter of the Freedom Ride Cause. He also helped drive many freedom riders ...

  • Ernest 'RIP' Patton The 21-year-old Tennessee State student was the drum major in the University marching band when, in 1961, he became involved in the Nashville Movement. ...

  • Susan WilburOne of 2 white women to take part in the May 17-21 ride, Susan literally put in her life in danger. She survived the bus burning attack and was there to ...

  • johnlewis61By the time 19-year-old John Lewis joined the 1961 CORE Freedom ride, he already had five arrests under his belt as a veteran of the Nashville Student ...

  • jim zwergJim Zwerg was a 21-year-old exchange student from Beloit College in Wisconsin who became active in the Nashville sit-in movement after attending one of ...

Historical Timeline

  • Genevieve Hughes We're getting ready to board the southbound bus in Washington D.C. Anxious? Yes I am... b/c the freedom rides are about to begin.

    Thu, May 04, 1961 05:50PM
  • Joesph Perkins I am getting ready to get on the bus. I am very excited yet also very nervous, what are the possible consequences of this?

    Thu, May 04, 1961 05:50PM
  • Genevieve Hughes But I really shouldn't be. As the CORE field secretary, I feel very strongly about this cause. I WANT to do this.

    Thu, May 04, 1961 05:51PM
  • Joesph Perkins I don't know why I feel nervous I shouldn't since I believe strongly in this cause. I believe that this will make America a better place

    Thu, May 04, 1961 05:51PM
  • Genevieve Hughes mainly b/c I figure Southern women should be represented so the South and the nation would realize all Southern people don't think alike.

    Thu, May 04, 1961 05:52PM
  • Genevieve Hughes Although, there is only one other woman with us today, which sort of adds to my anxiety...

    Thu, May 04, 1961 05:53PM
  • Genevieve Hughes We've boarded the bus now, and we're heading south on route 1. This is going to be interesting. Let's test this law.

    Thu, May 04, 1961 06:00PM
  • Joesph Perkins I am on the bus along with all the others who are participating. Let's do this.

    Thu, May 04, 1961 06:00PM
  • Joesph Perkins We are leaving Washington and on route 1 heading south.

    Thu, May 04, 1961 06:01PM
  • Genevieve Hughes Well, so far, nobody's really paying attention to us...

    Thu, May 04, 1961 07:00PM