Image Greyhound bus station in Montgomery, Alabama, 2010

TLF ID M009014

This is a colour photograph showing the former Greyhound bus station at 210 South Court Street in Montgomery, Alabama, USA, now saved from demolition and boasting a restored facade. The Library of Congress notes for the photograph reveal it was the site of a violent attack on participants in the 1961 Freedom Ride during the civil rights movement that 'shocked the nation and led the Kennedy Administration to side with civil rights protesters for the first time'. The photograph was taken by Carol Highsmith on 10 February 2010.

Educational details

Educational value
  • This photograph shows the location in Montgomery where, on 20 May 1961, student and volunteer protesters on the first US Freedom Ride were violently attacked and beaten by a mob of more than 1,000 white supporters of segregation wielding baseball bats and iron bars. The image is a useful source for year 10 history studies of the US civil rights movement, and also for year 11 and 12 modern history studies of the same topic.
  • The Freedom Riders were attempting to test, publicise and bring about the enforcement of a 1960 US Supreme Court decision (Boynton v Virginia) that outlawed racial segregation in interstate public facilities, including bus stations such as the one shown here. The decision was bitterly resented and widely ignored in the segregated South, where institutionalised racism was a way of life.
  • The severity of the attack on the Freedom Riders in Montgomery and the indifference of the local police galvanised US public opinion. The Freedom Riders had been previously attacked in Anniston and Birmingham, Alabama, and evacuated from the state. The Congress for Racial Equality, which organised the protest, decided to resume the Freedom Ride, bringing in volunteers to join the two remaining original Freedom Riders for the trip to Montgomery.
Learning area
  • History

Other details

  • Author
  • Person: Carol Highsmith
  • Description: author
  • Contributor
  • Name: The Library of Congress
  • Organization: The Library of Congress
  • Description: content provider
  • Address: UNITED STATES
  • URL:
  • Person: Carol Highsmith
  • Description: author
  • Publisher
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organization: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Description: Publisher
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
Access profile
  • Generic
Learning Resource Type
  • Image
  • © Commonwealth of Australia, 2011, except where indicated otherwise. You may copy, communicate and modify this material for non-commercial educational purposes provided you retain all acknowledgements associated with the material.