In 1946, The Supreme Court, in the “Morgan Decision”, ruled that segregation of interstate travel facilities was unconstitutional. This ruling was totally ignored for 15 years. As a way of drawing attention to the continued segregation in public facilities, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) launched the Freedom Rides on 4 May 1961. This Freedom Ride was modeled after an earlier Fellowship of Reconcilliation (FOR)demonstration staged in 1947 in which an integrated group planned to take public buses from Washington DC to New Orleans with the intent of integrating public facilities through out the South.
In the 1961 Freedom Rides, an integrated group of civil rights activists rode Greyhound and Trailways buses into the South planning for black riders to enter “whites only” sections while white riders would enter the “colored” waiting rooms. The integrating actions of these Freedom Riders met with relatively minor resistance until they arrived in Anniston, Alabama on 14 May 1961. The map below shows the route taken. [Need higher resolution picture!]