Interview with Gov. John Patterson
QUESTION 1
INTERVIEWER:

YOUR VERY FIRST FEELINGS ABOUT WHEN YOU HEARD THAT FREEDOM MARCHERS WERE COMING INTO THE STATE NOW, THIS IS BACK IN MAY OF ‘61, WHAT WAS YOUR INITIAL REACTION?

Gov. John Patterson:

Well, when we first heard about the Freedom Riders, I believe they had just left Washington DC and were headed south. And ahead of them was a constant stream of publicity, newspaper articles, ah, radio, television that they were coming. And there were statements about what they were going to do, that is they were going to integrate facilities that had either predominantly or traditionally been segregated facilities. Lunch counters, waiting rooms in bus stations, things of that kind, or in some cases facilities that actually were at that time were required to be segregated by law. And we heard they were coming and ah, began to get concerned about it.