Freedom Riders were civil rights activists who rode interstate buses into the segregated southern United States in 1961 and following years to test the United States Supreme Court decisions Boynton v. Virginia (1960) and Irene Morgan v. Commonwealth of Virginia (1946). The first Freedom Ride left Washington, D.C., on May 4, 1961, and was scheduled to arrive in New Orleans on May 17.
White Citizens' Council sign outside Selma, Ala., 1964. The White Citizens' Council was born in Greenwood, Miss., shortly after the 1954-55 Brown vs. Board of Education decisions were rendered. Sister branches rapidly surfaced throughout Mississippi and other Southern states. Leading citizens joined. The goal was to maintain segregation. (Jerry DeMuth papers.)