These files document an important moment in the history of the Civil Rights Movement. The United States Supreme Court's decision in Boynton v. Virginia granted interstate travelers the legal right to disregard local segregation ordinances [i.e. outlawed racial segregation] in relation to interstate transportation restaurants and waiting rooms in terminals. Five years prior to the Boynton ruling, the Interstate Commerce Commission had issued a ruling in Sarah Keys v. Carolina Coach Company that had explicitly denounced the Plessy v. Ferguson doctrine of separate but equal in interstate bus travel. However, the ICC had failed to enforce its own ruling, and thus Jim Crow travel laws remained in force throughout the South. The Freedom Riders set out to challenge this status quo by riding various forms of public transportation in the South to challenge local laws or customs that enforced segregation. The Freedom Rides, and the violent reactions they provoked, bolstered the credibility of the American Civil Rights Movement and called national attention to the violent disregard for the law that was used to enforce segregation in the southern United States. Riders were arrested for trespassing, unlawful assembly, and violating state and local Jim Crow laws, along with other alleged offenses. The first Freedom Ride began on May 5, 1961. Led by CORE Director James Farmer, 13 riders (seven black, six white) left Washington, D.C., on Greyhound and Trailways buses. Their plan was to ride through Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, ending with a rally in New Orleans, Louisiana. Only minor trouble was encountered in Virginia and North Carolina, but some of the Riders were arrested in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Winnsboro, South Carolina. Mob violence in Birmingham, Alabama would attempt to end this first Freedom Ride.