Interview with Gov. John Patterson
QUESTION 5
INTERVIEWER:

CUT RIGHT THERE. [unintelligible] THIS IS TAKE 2. OKAY, WHY DON'T YOU JUST START RIGHT WHERE YOU WERE.

Gov. John Patterson:

The Freedom Riders was a group of about I guess 15 people. They were, they were mixed, there was boys and girls, of course some of them were much older, some of them were in their 30's or maybe early 40's and they were mixed racially. And of course at this particular time in Alabama due to the various things that had been going on in the civil rights fight, the, there was a polarization of this racial feeling between the races in Alabama. And there was a great deal of public interest in everything going on in regard to efforts to integrate public facilities and particularly schools. So the publicity that preceded the Freedom Riders, I think had a considerable effect upon the thinking of the average Alabamian.