On May 24, 1961, Freedom Riders were arrested for trying to use a whites-only facility at the bus depot in Jackson, Mississippi. The purpose of the Freedom Riders' trip was to test the Supreme Court decision, Boynton v. Virginia. Boynton v. Virginia overturned the conviction of an African American law student cited for tresspassing in a restuarant in a bus terminal deemed "whites only".
The violent treatment the riders endured in prison, the harsh treatment by southerners, and the demands of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., prompted Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy , to petition the Interstate Commerce Commission to comply with a ruling that desegregated buses. The cumulative effect of these events was to end the Jim Crow era in the south. To learn more about this time period, check out the many books the library has about the Freedom Riders as well as books about the Civil Rights Movement.