Greyhound Bus Station (Montgomery)
Location: 210 South Court St., Montgomery, Ala.
Significance: Arrival point in Alabama for Freedom Riders
The first Freedom Ride departed from Washington, D.C. on May 4, 1961, and was due to arrive in New Orleans on May 17. During the trip, the brave collection of black and white activists were met with violence as they traveled through hostile southern states. Attacks delayed the mission, but the ride resumed on May 20 as the bus barrelled down the highway towards Montgomery at 90 miles per hour, flanked by the Alabama State Highway Patrol. When they reached the city limits, the highway patrol abandoned the bus and the Freedom Riders were again attacked at the bus station by an angry mob, this time being beaten with baseball bats and iron pipes. Local police turned a blind eye to the violence, and white freedom riders were again targeted for uniquely brutal beatings. Ambulances refused to take the injured to the hospital, so courageous local blacks volunteered to take the wounded to seek medical attention. Though the building is no longer used as a bus station, it was saved from demolition and the Alabama Historical Commission now leases it. Last May, 50 years after the attack, the inside of the building was opened as a museum. The bus station was added to the National Register of Historic Places.