This month is the 50th anniversary of the start of the Freedom Rides, the nonviolent tactic aimed at desegregating public transportation in the South. See what you know about this important chapter in the story of the civil-rights movement.

1. The Freedom Rides were an attempt to test this 1960 Supreme Court ruling holding that segregation in interstate transportation is illegal.

a. Brown v. Board of Education.

b. Boynton v. Virginia.

c. Bailey v. Patterson.

d. Loving v. Virginia.

2. Which civil-rights organization organized the first Freedom Ride?

a. Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

b. Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

c. Congress of Racial Equality.


3. What city was the starting point for that first ride, which began May 4, 1961?

a. Boston.

b. Philadelphia.

c. New York.

d. Washington.

4. True or false? All 13 original riders who set out on two buses were African American.

5. The Freedom Riders encountered resistance as they made their way farther south, but in what state did that resistance first escalate dramatically into violence and make national news?

a. Alabama.

b. Georgia.

c. South Carolina.

d. Mississippi.

6. Near what Alabama town was one of the buses burned?

a. Montgomery.

b. Birmingham.

c. Anniston.

d. Selma.

7. This segregationist allowed members of the Ku Klux Klan to attack Freedom Riders when their bus pulled into Birmingham.

a. George Wallace.

b. John Patterson.

c. Ross Barnett.

d. Eugene Connor.

8. When no driver could be found to continue the Freedom Rides from Birmingham, this person stepped forward, defying the Kennedy administration, and saw that the effort continued.

a. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

b. Diane Nash.

c. The Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth.

d. John Lewis.

9. U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D., Ga.) was one of the original Freedom Riders, but another current member of Congress was among the hundreds who joined the movement that summer. Name that person, whose activism in 1961 resulted in several weeks in the Mississippi State Penitentiary.

a. Bob Filner.

b. Maxine Waters.

c. Joe Lieberman.

d. Patrick Leahy.

10. In the fall of 1961, this federal agency ordered the end of discrimination in interstate travel.

a. Department of Transportation.

b. Federal Transit Administration.

c. Interstate Commerce Commission.

d. Federal Trade Commission.

Answers: C3