What did the Freedom Riders do?
They took a series of bus trips through the American South to protest against segregation by blacks and whites who rode buses together through the South in 1961. In 1946 the U.S. Supreme Court banned segregation in interstate bus travel. The Freedom Riders, who were recruited by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), a U.S civil rights group, departed from Washington, DC and attempted to integrate facilities at bus terminals along the way to the deep south.
In 1961 the Freedom Riders left Washington, DC in their plan to reach New Orleans, Louisiana. On May 14th 1961 they arrived in Anniston, Alabama. Where and angry mob of about 200 white people surrounded the bus causing the driver to continue past the bus station. The mob followed the bus and when the tires blew out, someone threw a bomb into the bus. The Freedom Riders escaped the bus as it burst into flames, only to be brutally beaten by members of the surrounding mob. On May 20th president John F. Kennedy negotiated with the governor of Alabama and the bus companies to secure a driver and state protection for the new group of Freedom Riders, who were finally resumed on a greyhound bus escorted by police officers.