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The Legacy of the Freedom Rides of 1961
Fifty years ago, the Freedom Riders changed America by facing down prejudice in the U.S. South. From May until November 1961, more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives for simply traveling together on buses and trains as they journeyed through the Deep South. Many were savagely beaten, cruelly abused and imprisoned.

SDPB Education & Outreach and the Freedom Forum hosted a live event, The Legacy of the Freedom Rides of 1961, to learn about the original Freedom Rides. Freedom Rider Claire O'Connor told her story as part of the outreach event. The free event included a preview of the incredible PBS American Experience: Freedom Riders program coming to SDPB TV in May, and a panel discussion featuring these South Dakota experts:

Thomas L. Sorensen, Associate Dean & Externship Director, USD School of Law.
Andre Oliver, Vice President, South Dakota NAACP.
Robert Hilderbrand, Professor of History, USD.
Icon Freedom Riders Powerpoint (435.8 KB)Power Point Presentation
Icon Freedom Riders Sites (24.7 KB)Related Websites
Icon Freedom Riders Plaintalk (13.9 KB)Vermillion PlainTalk article

SDPB Radio Midday speaks to one of the original Freedom Riders, Claire O'Connor and former Assistant to U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy, John Seigenthaler.

PBS American Experience: Freedom Riders (Website/ Education Resources)


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