Interview with Colonel Floyd Mann
QUESTION 55
INTERVIEWER:

UM, OK, WHAT WERE THE PLANS NOW UH TO GUARANTEE UH THE FREEDOM RIDERS WOULD MAKE IT FROM BIRMINGHAM TO MONTGOMERY, WHAT WAS …

Col. Floyd Mann:

Well, the state, the state police and Mr. Siegenthaler, along with other governmental officials, maybe some marshals, assistants, we determined that the best way and the safest way to get those people into Montgomery and on into Mississippi, was to make certain that uh, they were protected. So when they left Birmingham we had 16 highway patrol cars in front of that bus, and 16 patrol cars behind the bus, with troopers, also we had small aircraft running uh, reconnaissance, watching for bridges, where someone might try to sabotage that bus. During that period of time, I received some confidential information that when they arrived at the bus station in Montgomery that the police had planned to take a holiday uh, there'd be no one present. So we made uh, sure that uh, we didn't want to get in that situation so we ordered a hundred state troopers into Montgomery immediately. And we quartered those troopers at the Alabama police academy because we didn't want to bring them into the bus station because at that point in time in Alabama the state police never entered a city unless they were invited. Either it became obvious that law and order had totally broken down…