The Freedom Ride left Washington DC on May 4, 1961.
It was scheduled to arrive in New Orleans on May 17, the
seventh anniversary of the Brown decision. The Freedom
Riders never made it to New Orleans. Many spent their summer
in jail. Some were scarred for life from the beatings they
received. But their efforts were not in vain. They forced
the Kennedy administration to take a stand on civil rights,
which was the intent of the Freedom Ride in the first place.
The Freedom Riders may not have finished their trip, but
they made an important and lasting contribution to the
civil rights movement.