Concept origins

On May 14th, 1961, a Greyhound Bus left Atlanta, Georgia carrying among its passengers seven members of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), A.K.A. the "Freedom Riders," on a journey to test interstate bus segregation. The bus was met by an angry mob at the bus station in Anniston, AL where tires were slashed and windows broken. Upon leaving Anniston, the bus was followed by the mob to this site where the driver stopped to change the tire. The crowd set the bus on fire and attacked the passengers as they departed. The incident served to strengthen the resolve for the civil rights movement.

The actual site of the famous burning bus incident of 1961 is now a grassy, four acre highway easement in Anniston, Alabama and recently has been acquired by a group of proactive citizens intending to build the nation’s first Freedom Riders Park. The purpose of the park is to provide an internationally significant place for reflection, appreciation and public education all focused on the Freedom Riders, civil rights and the bus burning. The park will perpetuate the notion that "crisis is opportunity" by telling the story of how an act of violence fueled the nation’s civil rights movement.

This video below was made in 2016, with help from the Alabama Power Company. Watch to gain insight as to some origins of the new Freedom Riders National Monument.