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After the first group of Freedom Riders is assaulted in Alabama, King addresses a mass rally in Mont
Previous entry May 21, 1961
After the first group of Freedom Riders is assaulted in Alabama, King addresses a mass rally in Mont
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On May 21 Martin Luther King flew to Montgomery to support the Freedom Riders. While speaking at the First Baptist Church that evening, several thousand whites surrounded the church even though it was heavily guarded by federal marshals. The hostile whites threatened blacks inside, injured some of the marshals, and set fire to automobiles. To control the mob, the marshals employed tear gas-which wafted in to the church. Those inside feared for their lives, including King, who phoned Roberty Kennedy from a church phone. Kennedy then called Governor John Patterson, who ordered the police and Alabama National Guard to disperse the crowd.

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