@ New Georgia Encyclopedia
Hatfield, Edward A
DescriptionEncyclopedia article about the Freedom Rides organized by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) in the spring and summer of 1961. CORE sponsored a series of integrated bus rides throughout the South to test compliance with recent court rulings banning segregation in interstate travel. Subsequently known as the Freedom Rides, the protests garnered national support for civil reforms and forced the federal government's involvement in African Americans' struggle for freedom. Although Freedom Riders traveled unmolested through Georgia and were served courteously at several lunch counters throughout the state, they met with violent resistance elsewhere in the region, especially in Alabama. In the aftermath of Montgomery's violence, media attention increased, forcing the Kennedy administration to take a definitive position in defense of civil rights.The administration announced on May 29, 1961, that it had instructed the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) to ban segregation in all facilities under its jurisdiction. After months of delay, the ICC officially ruled segregation in interstate travel illegal on November 1, 1961.The Civil Rights Digital Library received support from a National Leadership Grant for Libraries awarded to the University of Georgia by the Institute of Museum and Library Services for the aggregation and enhancement of partner metadata.