1960s Freedom Riders converge on State Capitol - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

1960s Freedom Riders converge on State Capitol, celebrate anniversary of Civil Rights Act


They rode Greyhound and Trailways busses into the segregated South half a century ago, and on Wednesday, veterans of the Civil Rights Movement traveled by bus once again to Richmond.

The group known as the Freedom Riders braved bombings and beatings to protest social injustice in the 1960s, and converged on the Virginia State Capitol for the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

"I'm just thrilled to see that this effort is being recognized," said Dorothy Holcomb, a demonstrator who took to the streets when Prince Edward County closed its public schools, instead of complying with integration.

"So much of what we went through was not recognized as it was happening. I'm glad this history is now treated with dignity."

The signing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act by President Lyndon B. Johnson issued a new era of change for millions of Americans. The law outlawed discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national orientation.

The Freedom Riders boarded three school busses in Washington, D.C. early Wednesday morning, passing by the Supreme Court and Lincoln Memorial before heading to the former capital of the Confederacy.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, Va. Sen. Henry Marsh III and U.S. Congressman Bobby Scott were among the officials gathered in Capitol Square to greet the Freedom Riders.

The veterans of the Movement were also joined by students from 18 states and the District of Columbia, tasked with continuing the fight for equality that began decades ago.

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