Interview with David J. Vann
QUESTION 3
INTERVIEWER:

THEN WHAT MADE PEOPLE SUDDENLY TAKE ACTION? UH, THINK ABOUT SIDNEY SMEYER REALIZED THAT THERE HAD TO BE CHANGE, WHAT CAUSED ALL THAT?

David J. Vann:

Well, I think the turning point with respect to Birmingham and the attitude of its leadership came with the Freedom Riders. The Freedom Riders uh, started testing the bus stations from Washington all the way through the South, uh, when they entered Alabama, they were met by Klansmen that gadged and that burned one of the buses. Then they came on to Birmingham, and at Birmingham, it's pretty clear that the Police Commissioner withdrew police protection