Freedom Riders Community Roundtable Held in Anniston

Freedom Riders Park takes a major step forward…In an effort to celebrate an incident that served to strengthen the resolve for the civil rights movement. Today, at a community roundtable in Anniston the National Park Service agreed that it will be studying the Freedom Riders Park on Alabama Highway 202 as a potential new National Park. Chief of Planning and Compliance Ben West says he’s looking forward to what’s ahead in the study process. The park has long since had a strong local support from local elected officials. But, within today’s gathering of supporters original Freedom Riders expressed their feelings for the park project. One of the original Freedom Riders from May 1961, Dr. William Harbour says today’s meeting helps to identify the park’s significance. The Freedom Riders park commemorates May 14th 1961 when a Greyhound Bus left Atlanta, Georgia carrying "Freedom Riders," on a journey to test interstate bus segregation. The bus was met by an angry mob at the bus station in Anniston where tires were slashed and windows broken. Upon leaving Anniston, the bus was followed by the mob to the site where the driver stopped to change the tire. The crowd set the bus on fire and attacked the passengers as they departed.