The Anniston Civil Rights Trail recognizes and remembers key events and significant sites and people in the city of Anniston during the American Civil Rights Movement (1954-1968). Along the trail, visitors will uncover acts of bravery and violence, cooperation and resistance. The Trail is an introduction to the cultural changes that would transform Anniston into the city it is today. Explore more on this site as you travel the Anniston Civil Rights Trail.
Click each trail title below to visit its page and learn about its significance in the struggle for Civil Rights in Anniston:
The Anniston Civil Rights and Heritage Trail Committee first began the Anniston Civil Rights Trail project in 2010 when conversations with local residents revealed that many people were unaware of the events that occurred in Anniston during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Additionally, many students were not educated on the events or the people who risked their lives to bring about change, as local history is currently not part of the standard school curriculum. The members of the committee concluded that the Anniston Civil Rights Trail project would be a beneficial and engaging way to document Anniston’s past, as well as detail the present.
Today, the trail includes ten historic sites marked with brown and gold historic markers. Each marker includes information about the specific event that took place at each trail site. For instance, the West 15th Street Historic District was once the economic and social hub of Anniston’s African American community; the Seventeenth Street Missionary Baptists Church was the home of “mass meetings” for African American Annistonians who planned and executed Anniston’s part of the Civil Rights Movement; the Greyhound Bus Station Demonstration was the site of the Greyhound bus terminal where on May 14, 1961, a bus carrying Civil Rights Activists known as “Freedom Riders” was attacked by an angry and violent mob who were protesting desegregation of public transportation facilities; and more. Digital QR codes on each marker link audiences to online mobile content.
The Anniston Civil Rights Trail was made possible by the City of Anniston, the Spirit of Anniston, the Alabama Department of Tourism, the Alabama Historical Commission Black Heritage Council, and Jacksonville State University.
Historic marker on 9th & Noble Street marks the location of the Trailways Bus attack. Photo: Tucker Webb.
The Greyhound Bus burns 6 miles outside the City on May 14, 1961.
In January 2017, President Barack Obama leveraged the Antiquities Act of 1906 and proclaimed two historic sites in Calhoun County, Alabama, as the “Freedom Riders National Monument,” creating the nation’s first national monument dedicated to telling the story of the Freedom Rides. The two sites included the Greyhound Bus Station and the Freedom Riders Park, located at the site of the bus burning 6 miles west of Anniston off Highway 202.
The Freedom Riders National Monument is located at 1031 Gurnee Ave, Anniston, AL 36201
In 2023, the General Services Administration developed a storyboard, detailing the history surrounding Anniston’s new United States Federal Court House. This storyboard tells not only the story of the courthouse, yet also a deeper history of Anniston as a whole. Click here to take a step back in time.