The first ride was led by a CORE director. There were thirteen riders:seven were black and six were white. They left Washington D.C in route to Loisianna, South Carolina, and Alabama. They boarded The Greyhound Trailways buses and continued their ride down south through until May 17.
The Arrival in Louisanna
The riders arrived in New Orleans, Louisanna to celebrate the anniversary of the Brown v. Board decision that outlawed segregation in schools. They were also there to test the Supreme Court decision on the Boynton v. Virginia case.
South Carolina Arrival
The next day they arrived in South Carolina. It was pretty uneventful day, however, one man was arrested.
On the 19th the arrived in Atlanta, Georgia and recieved a speech from Martin Luther King Jr. to promote them on what they're doing. Along with the Martin Luther King, The Freedom Riders were inspired by the 1947 Journey of Reconciliation.
The last stop was in Alabama where one buses of riders were fire bomed by a mob of angry protestors. All of the riders survived because of the state safety office. The second bus of riders arrived in Birmingham and were attacked by a group of angry people. After this day the riders questioned if they wanted to contine their rides because they were in danger.
The Journey Back Home
At this point the riders were already into the deep south which was very dangerous land for racial equality. Because of this John Seigenthaler was sent to help them get back to New Orleans safely.
On May 22, 1961 student activists in Nashville made a point that if the freedom riders end because of violence, then our freedom may end because of that violence. Some of those students then joined the freedom riders in support. Once they joined the freedom riders, hundreds of other students decided they wanted to too. As the year progressed they didnt just help to stop segregation there, they helped outlaw segregation everywhere. They were willing to work for an end to segregation.
Freedom Rider Support
The Freedom Riders started to head back to Washington in order to replace the wounded riders with new ones and send them back home to their families. The Freedom Riders did not stop there, their rides contuinued all throughout the Civil Rights Movement.