Anniston City Manager Steven Folks said it’s time for the city to come up with a replacement plan for the trees — something that council members have also mentioned in recent days

How we view the celebration of the Freedom Riders, and the many other celebrations of historical significance to Black Americans, is much debated.

In the spring of 1961, an interracial group of 13 “Freedom Riders” set out to challenge discriminatory state laws and local custom that required races be separated on buses and in bus station facilities. By the end of 1961, over 400 Freedom Riders risked their lives criss-crossing the South on more than 50 Rides.

Within hours of the attack, FBI agents were out in force in the community, knocking on doors and gathering evidence. They interviewed dozens of residents, and encountered considerable resistance among the white population of Anniston.

The students did not give up. It's an attitude that carried them through a successful movie theater integration campaign and toward the Freedom Rides. While they were celebrating their victories, they also heard about the defeat of the Freedom Riders in Alabama.

Her memories are littered with moments of her father’s hatred toward Blacks, and even the thought of what he might do impacted her life.

Historically, Calhoun County native Kenneth Lamar Adams is most remembered for his involvement in two violent events: the 1956 assault in Birmingham of singer Nat King Cole and his role in the 1961 attack on the “Freedom Riders” just outside Anniston.

The Page 1 article was, of course, important enough to present with eye-catching typographic treatment — the first two paragraphs received larger print. It was positioned in the top right corner of the page, where the biggest news of the day normally goes.

People who picked up the Sunday edition of the Anniston Star that morning would learn that peace talks were underway between warring factions in Laos and the Alabama Legislature was fighting over redistricting. There was no mention of the Freedom Riders.

When the call came into the Anniston fire department, firemen Joe Evans and Enoch Hughes rushed out of Station 4. They had heard about the violence that had taken place at the bus station on Gurnee Avenue.

Charles Person, a college student at Morehouse College in Atlanta, decided to take part in the Civil Rights Movement. He was only 18 years old and needed parental permission.

I remember this event vividly, not just because it was a moving recognition of that pivotal moment in the civil rights movement and Anniston’s history, but because it differed so drastically from what I had found upon moving to Anniston.

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