May 26, 2017

State of Alabama
Press Release: Alabama Historical Commission

FREEDOM RIDERS, A TRAVELING EXHIBIT

For Immediate Release
May 26, 2017
 
Freedom Riders, a Traveling Exhibit
May 26 – June 22, 2017
Freedom Rides Museum, Montgomery


Freedom Riders, opening at the Freedom Rides Museum on Friday, May 26, is a national traveling exhibit that tells the powerful, harrowing, and inspirational civil rights story of six months in 1961 that changed America forever.

The exhibit will be on display until June 22, 2017 and can be viewed during normal business hours, Tuesday – Saturday, 12:00 – 4:00 pm.

On Thursday, June 1 at 5:00 pm the Freedom Rides Museum will host a special exhibit opening for the public. For more information please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/freedom-riders-exhibit-opening-tickets-34913348766
 
Organized by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and PBS’s flagship history series, American Experience, the Freedom Riders exhibition combines powerful photography and news coverage of the Rides, as well as first-hand accounts of this dangerous experiment in the fight for civil rights. The exhibit emphasizes how the events that happened in Montgomery at the former Greyhound Bus Station (now the Freedom Rides Museum) on May 20, 1961 was a critical turning point in the Rides. Freedom Riders examines the 1961 Freedom Rides from many perspectives – that of the Riders themselves, the Kennedy administration, and the international community.

The exhibit opening is sponsored by the Friends of the Freedom Rides Museum and the Alabama Historical Commission's Black Heritage Council.

In conjunction with the exhibit, the Museum will be a participating Blue Star Museum beginning on Memorial Day, Monday, May 29, through Monday, September 4. Each summer since 2010, Blue Star Museums have offered free admission to the nation’s active-duty military personnel and their families, including National Guard and Reserve, from Memorial Day through Labor Day.   

Directions: Driving south on I-65 take Exit 172 (Clay Street). Stay straight on Dickerson Street. Take a left on Herron Street (becomes Bibb Street). Turn right on Lee Street (becomes Court Street). The Freedom Rides Museum is up the hill on the right.

Fee: Museum admission will be charged - $5 Adult; $4 College students, Seniors, Military;
       $3 Children 6-18 years

For more information contact Dorothy Walker at dorothy.walker@ahc.alabama.gov or call 334-414-8647.

About the Freedom Rides Museum

From May until November 1961, more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives – many endured savage beatings and imprisonment – for simply traveling together on buses and trains as they journeyed through the Deep South. Deliberately violating Jim Crow laws, the Freedom Riders’ belief in non-violent activism was sorely tested as mob violence and bitter racism greeted them along the way. Working with concerned citizens, The Alabama Historical Commission saved the Greyhound Bus Station from demolition in the mid-1990s. The Museum is located at the intersection of S. Court St. and Adams Avenue in downtown Montgomery. An award-winning exhibit on the building's exterior traces the Freedom Riders' history. It uses words and images of the Freedom Riders, those who supported them, and those who opposed them. Interior exhibits highlight additional information on the Freedom Riders and the way in which buildings were designed for racial segregation. Share Your Story, an interactive video exhibit, captures and shows thoughts and feelings from Riders, witnesses, and museum visitors. Today, the Alabama Historical Commission operates this significant site.

Find the Freedom Rides Museum on Facebook or visit ahc.alabama.gov

About the Freedom Riders Exhibit
A companion to the May 2011 PBS broadcast of the American Experience film Freedom Riders, the exhibition has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. For more information visit https://www.gilderlehrman.org/


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About the Alabama Historical Commission
Located in historic downtown Montgomery at 468 S. Perry Street, the Alabama Historical Commission is the state historic preservation agency for Alabama. The agency was created by an act of the state legislature in 1966 with a mission to protect, preserve and interpret Alabama’s historic places. AHC works to accomplish its mission through two fields of endeavor: Preservation and promotion of state-owned historic sites as public attractions; and, statewide programs to assist people, groups, towns, and cities with local preservation activities. For a complete list of programs and properties owned and operated by the AHC, hours of operation, and admission fees please visit ahc.alabama.gov  

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