Anniston in Calhoun County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
Greyhound Bus Station Protest, May 14, 1961
—Anniston Civil Rights Trail —
This was the site of the Greyhound bus terminal where on May 14, 1961, a bus carrying black and white Civil Rights Activists known as "Freedom Riders" was attacked by a mob of whites who were protesting desegregation of public transportation facilities.
As the Riders remained on board, the mob hit the bus with bats and pipes, slashed its tires, and shouted insults. After local law enforcement intervened, the bus departed for Birmingham.
Inset photo: Protestors at Greyhound Bus Station. Photograph courtesy Public Library of Anniston and Calhoun County.
Six miles outside Anniston on Alabama Highway 202, the Greyhound bus that had been attacked earlier by a mob of white extremists on this site was forced to stop because of a deflated tire. The pursuing mob intensified its attack and set the bus on fire, forcing the riders to depart. On board were "Freedom Riders" who were testing Boynton v. Virginia, the Supreme Court decision that segregation of public transportation was illegal.
After federal intervention at the site of the burning bus, the injured Riders were transported by ambulance to Anniston Memorial Hospital. The violence prompted a federal investigation.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Anniston Civil Rights Trail, Alabama marker series.
Location. 33° 39.484′ N, 85° 49.879′ W. Marker is in Anniston, Alabama, in Calhoun County. Marker is on Gurnee Avenue north of West 10th Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1031 Gurnee Avenue, Anniston AL 36201, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Murder of Willie Brewster, July 15, 1965 (within shouting distance of this marker); The Human Relations Council (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Trailways Bus Station Attack (approx. 0.2 miles away); Trailways Attack (approx. 0.2 miles away); Anniston Public Library Desegregation (was approx. 0.2 miles away but has been reported missing. ); Tyrus Raymond Cobb (approx. ¼ mile away); Calhoun County World War I Memorial (approx. ¼ mile away); Anniston World War (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Anniston.
Regarding Greyhound Bus Station Protest, May 14, 1961. In January 2017, President Obama leveraged the Antiquities Act of 1906 and proclaimed two historic sites in Calhoun County,
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker.
Also see . . .
1. Freedom Riders ambushed: Vintage photos of Alabama's headlines on May 15, 1961 (AL.COM). (Submitted on August 6, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
2. Wikipedia article on the Freedom Riders. (Submitted on August 6, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
3. Anniston Civil Rights Trail Map (.pdf). (Submitted on August 6, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
4. The Freedom Riders, Then and Now from the Smithsonian Magazine. (Submitted on August 6, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
Categories. • African Americans • Civil Rights • Roads & Vehicles •
Credits. This page was last revised on August 9, 2017. This page originally submitted on August 6, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 248 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 6, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.