Governor Barbour apologizes to Freedom Riders - - Jackson, MS

Governor Barbour apologizes to Freedom Riders on behalf of Mississippi

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

A week long celebration in Jackson officially kicked off Sunday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Rides.

Dozens of Freedom Riders attended the welcome program emceed by WLBT's Maggie Wade. These courageous men and women, black and white, helped define the civil rights movement in the 1960s by testing new legislation that outlawed racial segregation.  Hundreds were arrested after facing mob violence, fire bombings and hostility.

At the event Governor Haley Barbour apologized on behalf of Mississippi for how the riders were treated.

"We apologize to you for the mistreatment in 1961 and we appreciate this chance for atonement and reconciliation," said Governor Barbour.

The Governor's comments were met with a standing ovation.  Monday Barbour and the First Lady will host a breakfast at the Governor's mansion for the riders and their families.

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