In 2011 the Smithsonian Institution and the National Endowment for the Humanities commemorated the 50th anniversary of the 1961 Freedom Rides with a national conversation on history, democracy and civic activism.

National Youth Summit: The 50th Anniversary of the Freedom Rides

Originally webcast February 9, 2011


Freedom Rides Teacher Guide (390K PDF)

In this program Freedom Rides veterans Congressman John Lewis, D-GA, Diane Nash, Jim Zwerg, and Reverend James Lawson share how they became involved in the Freedom Rides and how their lives were affected by them. They joined filmmaker Stanley Nelson (Freedom Riders) and scholar Raymond Arsenault to discuss the meaning of the Freedom Rides and the role of young people in shaping America’s past and future.

Presented by the National Museum of American History, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, in collaboration with Smithsonian Affiliations and American Experience/WGBH.

Additional support generously provided by Booz Allen Hamilton.