The Modest Bus Station At The Center Of A World-Changing Confrontation : Code Switch : NPR: The Montgomery Greyhound Station, Montgomery, Ala.
It seems odd to suggest that folks should visit a bus station if they're in the area; most people are trying to get out of a bus station as quickly as possible. But the small, one-story Montgomery bus station was placed on the National Register of Historic Places because it was the site of one of the most harrowing moments of the civil rights movement. In 1961, the Freedom Riders, a group of young activists, were trying to test whether Southern states were adhering to Supreme Court orders to integrate interstate travel, including buses and bus stations. People were not happy about this, and the Riders were harassed and intimidated. Even Martin Luther King Jr. warned them before they began. "You'll never make it through Alabama," he told them.
And it appeared for a while that King's admonition was going to prove soul-crushingly true. In Anniston, Ala., segregationists set one of the Riders' buses on fire and brutally beat them as they fled the flames.