Photo Gallery
 The U.S. Civil Rights Movement  
Coach buses with posters on side

Members of the "Washington Freedom Riders Committee," en route to Washington from New York, hang signs from bus windows to protest segregation.

In the early 1960s, members of the Congress of Racial Equality, an integrated group promoting nonviolent methods to achieve racial equality, rode on public buses and trains as a group to protest segregation of transportation networks.

Segregation aboard buses traveling between states had been illegal since 1946, and a 1960 Supreme Court decision had extended earlier rulings by banning segregation in waiting rooms and restaurants serving interstate bus passengers.

The freedom riders were beaten in Birmingham, Alabama; firebombed near Anniston, Alabama; and mobbed and handcuffed in Jackson, Mississippi. (Library of Congress)