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Montgomery Greyhound Bus Station - Freedom Rides Museum
Montgomery Greyhound Bus Station - Freedom Rides Museum
Published: 2012/11/19
Channel: National Trust for Historic Preservation
My trip to Alabama at the bus Station
My trip to Alabama at the bus Station
Published: 2012/06/11
Channel: Jewel Bunch III
Freedom Ride In Montgomery - February 6, 2010
Freedom Ride In Montgomery - February 6, 2010
Published: 2010/02/07
Channel: TheVagabondVoyager
Freedom Rides Museum
Freedom Rides Museum
Published: 2014/11/27
Channel: roslundb
1961 Freedom Riders
1961 Freedom Riders' 47th Annyversary
Published: 2008/06/03
Channel: Leon E Frazier
Greyhound Bus Station, Alexander City, Alabama, Hwy 280. 5/27/2012
Greyhound Bus Station, Alexander City, Alabama, Hwy 280. 5/27/2012
Published: 2012/06/07
Channel: lbandrc
New Greyhound bus station not going anywhere
New Greyhound bus station not going anywhere
Published: 2013/10/09
Channel: WYFF News 4
Freedom Riders Exhibition Opening Reception.mov
Freedom Riders Exhibition Opening Reception.mov
Published: 2011/05/30
Channel: salongosart
MCI MC-12 @ The Birmingham, Alabama Greyhound Bus Terminal.
MCI MC-12 @ The Birmingham, Alabama Greyhound Bus Terminal.
Published: 2010/05/29
Channel: Ricky Webster
Trip to Montgomery 2012
Trip to Montgomery 2012
Published: 2012/11/04
Channel: JohnMark Edwards
Freedom Rides Museum Exhibit & Reception 2012
Freedom Rides Museum Exhibit & Reception 2012
Published: 2012/05/22
Channel: Leon E Frazier
Atlanta - Anniston Oxford Alabama 1/2
Atlanta - Anniston Oxford Alabama 1/2
Published: 2012/12/19
Channel: joshalex93
El Paso greyhound bus station
El Paso greyhound bus station
Published: 2014/02/06
Channel: Brian Terrazas
Greyhound Bus Station HR 108
Greyhound Bus Station HR 108
Published: 2015/08/16
Channel: Ibu Darwati
1961 Freedom Rides -- 50th Anniversary Exhibit
1961 Freedom Rides -- 50th Anniversary Exhibit
Published: 2011/04/13
Channel: Coker College
Greyhound bus station. Evansville, In.
Greyhound bus station. Evansville, In.
Published: 2012/12/27
Channel: TonyTechTv
Greyhound Bus (Oregon)
Greyhound Bus (Oregon)
Published: 2014/01/15
Channel: TheValentinoBambino
Greyhound Bus
Greyhound Bus
Published: 2012/05/13
Channel: JetsYanksFan
The Building of "Detour/Road Closed" a Wall Book .mov
The Building of "Detour/Road Closed" a Wall Book .mov
Published: 2011/05/30
Channel: salongosart
GreyHound Bus
GreyHound Bus
Published: 2015/04/02
Channel: TVCogecoOntario
Walking around Riverfront Park in Montgomery Alabama
Walking around Riverfront Park in Montgomery Alabama
Published: 2016/09/21
Channel: Bonnie Burger
LOUISIANA-NewOrleans-Greyhound-Station-CaptKracker
LOUISIANA-NewOrleans-Greyhound-Station-CaptKracker
Published: 2013/02/26
Channel: CrazyCaptKracker
Driving on US 84 around Dothan, Alabama
Driving on US 84 around Dothan, Alabama
Published: 2016/11/10
Channel: gatorpics09
**Sold** 643 Whistlewood Rd. Montgomery, AL 36117 Extended Tour
**Sold** 643 Whistlewood Rd. Montgomery, AL 36117 Extended Tour
Published: 2016/02/15
Channel: Andre' Greenwood
Greyhound Buses 7-9-15
Greyhound Buses 7-9-15
Published: 2015/07/10
Channel: david123321ism
HV Reunion
HV Reunion
Published: 2011/05/02
Channel: Markez Gholston
Riding on Greyhound, June 26th 2012
Riding on Greyhound, June 26th 2012
Published: 2012/07/11
Channel: Hans Last
Greyhound Bus
Greyhound Bus
Published: 2012/06/10
Channel: TheJello71
Greyhound Bus Station Clip 21
Greyhound Bus Station Clip 21
Published: 2012/11/16
Channel: EXTECH/Exterior Technologies Inc2
Greyhound
Greyhound'n it to memphis tn (2004)
Published: 2008/09/03
Channel: trealsoullja
Brooke Hogan. Greyhound Bus Station
Brooke Hogan. Greyhound Bus Station
Published: 2008/03/13
Channel: Lizzie Dervin
GREYHOUND DEPARTING SAVANNAH, GA.
GREYHOUND DEPARTING SAVANNAH, GA.
Published: 2010/06/23
Channel: jlbrannock
I-65 N in Alabama
I-65 N in Alabama
Published: 2013/04/14
Channel: srb
Along an Alabama Interstate
Along an Alabama Interstate
Published: 2011/09/22
Channel: Hans Last
Life on Two Blocks of Santa Rosa Avenue.  With Dalia Martinez
Life on Two Blocks of Santa Rosa Avenue. With Dalia Martinez
Published: 2016/01/20
Channel: ThePressDemocrat
6574 leaving mobile, AL
6574 leaving mobile, AL
Published: 2015/11/19
Channel: joshalex93
Riding out of Louisville, kY inthe mornin g
Riding out of Louisville, kY inthe mornin g
Published: 2012/10/31
Channel: Hans Last
10/04/2013 ON GREYHOUND BUS IN PITTSBURG, PA
10/04/2013 ON GREYHOUND BUS IN PITTSBURG, PA
Published: 2013/10/21
Channel: Bonnie Lee
WJWZ 97.9 JAMZ Park Party 2011 @ Oak Park (Montgomery, AL)
WJWZ 97.9 JAMZ Park Party 2011 @ Oak Park (Montgomery, AL)
Published: 2011/07/10
Channel: 979JamzMontgomery
Greyhound Bus leaving Opelika, Alabama heading down Hwy. 280/431. 5/14/2010.
Greyhound Bus leaving Opelika, Alabama heading down Hwy. 280/431. 5/14/2010.
Published: 2010/05/19
Channel: lbandrc
Did you know ...? # PART 3264
Did you know ...? # PART 3264
Published: 2017/06/11
Channel: Did you know...
Montgomery City line bus on fire June 16,2015
Montgomery City line bus on fire June 16,2015
Published: 2015/11/04
Channel: Karen Jones
Birmingham departure.mp4
Birmingham departure.mp4
Published: 2012/12/29
Channel: joshalex93
Fun bus to AlabAMA
Fun bus to AlabAMA
Published: 2010/09/27
Channel: raphiel baptiste
UPDATE: New Developments In Asheville Greyhound Bus Shooting Investigation
UPDATE: New Developments In Asheville Greyhound Bus Shooting Investigation
Published: 2012/11/09
Channel: WLOS News 13
2011 Student Freedom Ride Day 6: Seigenthaler
2011 Student Freedom Ride Day 6: Seigenthaler's Bedtime Story
Published: 2011/05/14
Channel: AmericanExperiencePBS
Party Bus Rental in Alabama - Birmingham, Montgomery, Mobile, Huntsville, Tuscaloosa
Party Bus Rental in Alabama - Birmingham, Montgomery, Mobile, Huntsville, Tuscaloosa
Published: 2013/10/08
Channel: Party Bus Rental Headquarters
Great Bethel Baptist Church Alex City, Al
Great Bethel Baptist Church Alex City, Al
Published: 2015/08/12
Channel: Jimmy Boleware
UPDATE Pedestrian Hit By Greyhound Bus in DC
UPDATE Pedestrian Hit By Greyhound Bus in DC
Published: 2015/11/04
Channel: Sharyn Bovat
Greyhound Jackson Ms
Greyhound Jackson Ms
Published: 2014/01/30
Channel: Susan Guy Walker
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

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Montgomery Greyhound Bus Station
Greyhound montgomery.jpg
The Greyhound Bus Station in 2009
Location 210 S. Court St., Montgomery, Alabama
Coordinates 32°22′29″N 86°18′33″W / 32.37472°N 86.30917°W / 32.37472; -86.30917Coordinates: 32°22′29″N 86°18′33″W / 32.37472°N 86.30917°W / 32.37472; -86.30917
NRHP Reference # 11000298[1]
Added to NRHP May 16, 2011

The Greyhound Bus Station at 210 South Court Street in Montgomery, Alabama, was the site of a violent attack on participants in the 1961 Freedom Ride during the Civil Rights Movement. The May 1961 assaults, carried out by a mob of white protesters who confronted the civil rights activists, "shocked the nation and led the Kennedy Administration to side with civil rights protesters for the first time."[2]

The property is no longer used as a bus station, but the building was saved from demolition and its facade has been restored. The site was leased by the Alabama Historical Commission and a historical marker was located in front of the building.[2] In 2011, a museum was opened inside the building, and it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The museum won a national preservation award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2012.

Freedom Ride to Montgomery[edit]

The first Freedom Ride left Washington, D.C. on May 4, 1961, and was scheduled to arrive in New Orleans on May 17. The black and white Freedom Riders were trying to compel the U.S. government to enforce U.S. Supreme Court decisions outlawing segregated transportation, and wanted to end the discriminatory practice of allocating seating on the buses and bus stations with a preference for whites.[2] Organized by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the plan was to have mixed pairs of riders sit side by side. The first ride consisted of two buses, one from Greyhound and one from Trailways, and the plans included a final leg starting in Atlanta, Georgia, and stopping in the state of Alabama in Anniston, Birmingham, and Montgomery before ending in New Orleans.

Violence in Anniston, Birmingham[edit]

In Anniston, a mob of angry whites violently attacked the Greyhound bus and set it on fire; the riders were severely beaten. The Trailways bus arrived an hour later and was boarded in Anniston by Ku Klux Klan members who beat up the Freedom Riders. It was also attacked in Birmingham, and several riders (including James Peck) were beaten in front of the press. Reports of the violence reached US Attorney General Robert Kennedy, who urged restraint on the part of Freedom Riders and sent an assistant, John Seigenthaler, to Birmingham. CORE agreed to halt the Freedom Ride in Birmingham on May 14, with the remaining riders flying to New Orleans.[3]

The Nashville Student Movement continues the Ride[edit]

Diane Nash, of the Nashville Student Movement (and a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) and others were undeterred, and 21 young students,[4] including John Lewis, took the place of the original riders for a leg of the Freedom Ride to Montgomery (the ultimate destination was Jackson, Mississippi). All but one (Ruby Doris Smith, from Atlanta) were from Nashville, Tennessee,[5] and many from Fisk University. Greyhound had initially refused to allow any of their drivers to drive the bus; after an angry intervention by Robert Kennedy, and with an escort of state troopers provided by Floyd Mann, the Alabama Director of Public Safety, the bus left Birmingham for Montgomery on May 20.[3]

Violence in Montgomery and federal involvement[edit]

Old Montgomery Greyhound Station in May 2009

The riders, who had been left unescorted by the highway police as they reached Montgomery city limits, arrived at the bus station at 10:23 AM and were met by a crowd of violent white protesters, including women and children. Several were injured in the attack, including Robert Kennedy's assistant John Seigenthaler, who had followed the bus in his car: attempting to rescue two white female riders, he was hit over the head with a metal pipe and "lay unconscious on the ground for half an hour."[3] Floyd Mann, a "committed segregationist, tough on law and order," stepped in to protect William Barbee, who was to remain paralyzed and died an early death as a result of his beating. Floyd fired his gun in the air, yelling, "'There'll be no killing here today.' A white attacker raised his bat for a final blow. Mann put his gun to the man's head. 'One more swing,' he said, 'and you're dead.'"[6]

On Sunday, May 21, Martin Luther King, Jr., C.K. Steele, and SCLC officers[5] came to support the Freedom Riders. That evening, they and the riders joined the evening service in Ralph Abernathy's First Baptist Church on North Ripley Street[7] while some 3000 angry protesters yelled outside, burning a car and threatening to burn the church.[3] From inside the church, King telephoned Robert Kennedy, who urged the activists to "cool down," a proposal refused first by Diane Nash, and then by James Farmer (on behalf of CORE) and King.[5] Kennedy had sent 500 U.S. Marshals, headed by United States Deputy Attorney General Byron White. Airborne troops were on standby at Fort Benning,[3] just across the Georgia state line. The Kennedy Administration's decision that it would send US troops to restore order was protested by city and state officials.[8] The marshals, with the help of Floyd Mann and his state troopers, managed to keep the mob at bay;[3] it was finally dispersed with the help of the National Guard at midnight.[9]

The Freedom Ride again went on the road, and travelled to Jackson, Mississippi, where the students, which by now included Nashville Student Movement activists Bernard Lafayette, James Bevel, and others, were arrested as they attempted to desegregate the "Black" and "White" waiting rooms in the bus terminal.[10][11]

As a result of the unrest and the nationwide publicity generated by the Freedom Rides, in late May Robert Kennedy was able to successfully petition the Interstate Commerce Commission to adopt stronger regulations and desegregate interstate transportation.[12]

The Greyhound Bus Station[edit]

The bus station is significant only in its relationship to the events of the single day of May 20, 1961. It is otherwise an unassuming example of Greyhound bus stations in that time, derived from a standard plan and built for $300,000 starting in 1950. It opened in August 1951. The building had a door labelled "Colored Entrance"; African Americans entered through it directly into the bus bay, accessing interior of the segregated terminal from the rear.[13]

The Greyhound Bus Station in modern times[edit]

The Greyhound station was closed in 1995, and its history is indicated by a historic marker placed there in 1996.[14] The building fell into disrepair, and plans to open a museum were delayed repeatedly, leading to accusations of racial prejudice against the Alabama Historical Commission. The internationally renowned architectural firm Ralph Appelbaum Associates produced a design plan for the building.[15] The site was noted as one of Montgomery's tourist attractions though the building could not be entered.[16] A series of fifteen panels added in 2008, across the front of the building, illustrates the events of May 1961.[4] In 2009, the services of Cohen Carnaggio Reynolds, architects out of Birmingham, AL, were retained by the Alabama Historical Commission to rehabilitate and refurbish the interior of the bus station into The Freedom Rides Museum.

Freedom Rides Museum[edit]

In May 2011, commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the riot at the bus station, a 3,000-square-foot (280 m2) museum was opened in the presence of Jim Zwerg.[17] The building was also listed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 16, 2011.

The Freedom Rides Museum focuses on the history of the protest and riot, and is open on Fridays and Saturdays.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Weekly list of actions taken on properties: 5/16/11 through 5/20/11". National Park Service. May 27, 2011. Retrieved March 12, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c "Greyhound Bus Station". Alabama Historical Commission. Retrieved 2009-10-22. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Schlesinger, Arthur M. (2002). Robert Kennedy and His Times. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. pp. 296–300. ISBN 978-0-618-21928-5. 
  4. ^ a b Benn, Alvin (2008-05-25). "Site memorializes Freedom Riders". The Montgomery Advertiser. Retrieved 2009-10-22. 
  5. ^ a b c Olson, Lynne (2001). Freedom's daughters: the unsung heroines of the civil rights movement from 1830 to 1970. Simon and Schuster. pp. 186–88. ISBN 978-0-684-85012-2. 
  6. ^ David Halberstam, The Children (New York: Ballantine, 1999). Quoted in Oshinsky, David M. (1998-03-15). "Freedom Riders: David Halberstam's account of the civil rights movement, from the sit-ins to the buses, and those who led it". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-10-28. 
  7. ^ Lewis, John (2001-05-21). "Acceptance Speech by Congressman John Lewis". John F. Kennedy Library. Retrieved 2009-10-22. 
  8. ^ "Kennedy Acts in Bus Riot. A Part of the Violence in Montgomery: Sends 400 Marshals, FBI Men to Alabama. U.S. Aid Isn't Needed or Welcome, City and State Officials Say of Government Intervention". Chicago Daily Tribune. 1961-05-21. 
  9. ^ Rabby, Glenda Alice (1999). The pain and the promise: the struggle for civil rights in Tallahassee, Florida. U of Georgia P. p. 134. ISBN 978-0-8203-2051-9. 
  10. ^ "Bernard Lafayette Jr. Freedom Rider Tampa, FL". WGBH Educational Foundation. 
  11. ^ "Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Global Freedom Struggle: Chronology". Stanford University, The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 
  12. ^ Rosenberg, Gerald N. (2008). The hollow hope: can courts bring about social change?. U of Chicago P. p. 64. ISBN 978-0-226-72671-7. 
  13. ^ Stephanie Foell (May 10, 2004). "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Montgomery Greyhound Bus Station" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2015-03-12.  44 pages and photos.
  14. ^ Roedl, Ken (2000-02-12). "Bus Terminal Violence Outraged Country". The Montgomery Advertiser. p. D.1. 
  15. ^ Wingfield, Kyle (2004-10-05). "Freedom Riders Bus Station Museum Delayed". MSNBC. Retrieved 2009-10-22. [dead link]
  16. ^ "Information: A sampling of civil-rights attractions in Alabama by city". Youngstown Vindicator. 2004-02-01. Retrieved 2009-10-22. 
  17. ^ Griffin, Allison (15 May 2011). "Freedom Rides: Historic bus station's transformation into a museum now complete". Montgomery Advertiser. Archived from the original on 26 May 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2011. 

External links[edit]

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