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Jimmy Allen Ruth, man who drove the legendary Freedom Riders’ bus in 1961, dies aged 83 in Tennessee-World News , Happy Easterday

Jimmy Allen Ruth, man who drove the legendary Freedom Riders’ bus in 1961, dies aged 83 in Tennessee-World Information , Completely satisfied Easterday

The Freedom Rides Motion of 1961 began in Washington, DC by 13 women and men who travelled to the South by bus and prepare to pressure desegregation of interstate transportation amenities.

On this 15 Might 1961 file picture, a bus bearing Freedom Riders leaves the station as they resumed their rides via the South in Montgomery, Ala. AP Photograph

Nashville, Tennessee: Jimmy Allen Ruth, the Trailways bus driver for the 1961 group of Nashville Freedom Riders, has died, his household mentioned. He was 83.

Driving the Freedom Riders from Nashville, Tennessee to Jackson, Mississippi was “one in every of his biggest accomplishments,” his household wrote in an obituary. Ruth’s bus-driving memorabilia is at present on show on the Tennessee State Museum.

The Freedom Rides Motion of 1961 began in Washington, DC by 13 women and men who travelled to the South by bus and prepare to pressure desegregation of interstate transportation amenities. The bus rides sparked bombings and beatings by white mobs, in addition to imprisonment for lots of the Black and white riders. Nevertheless, the motion additionally introduced in regards to the eventual finish of segregated transportation within the South.

The rides all passed off throughout the first yr of John Kennedy’s presidency in an try and seize the eye of the Kennedy administration in its early months.

Greater than 4,000 individuals, ranging in age from 14 to 61, participated within the Freedom Rides,. In June, July, August and September of 1961, greater than 60 Freedom Riders travelled throughout the South, most of which resulted in Mississippi, in line with a historical past documented on Swarthmore Faculty’s web site.

When a few of the passengers determined to journey to Jackson, Mississippi, each Trailways driver turned down the job besides Ruth, who was white and 23 on the time, wrote Bobby Ruth, his brother, and Blondell Robust Kimbrough, his pal, in a information launch.

“He agreed to drive the scholars and by no means requested any questions though he was conscious of the dangers concerned,” the discharge said. “Ruth was prepared to assist within the trigger for freedom and justice in any respect price.”

The faculty-age Freedom Riders who set out from Nashville into the Deep South included Diane Nash, the late US Rep. John Lewis and CT Vivian. Lewis, a civil rights icon who died final yr, was arrested in Jackson and was held on the notorious Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman.

“With no regrets of his earlier choice, he expressed nice gratitude for being honoured and continued to bubble with satisfaction for what he thought-about to be a small gesture and realized later how vital a contribution he had made to the historical past of the civil and human rights motion throughout the early sixties,” Kimbrough and Bobby Ruth wrote.

Ruth continued to drive vehicles for Jack Johnson and Continental Bus till he was compelled to cease due to an accident in 1963.

Ruth died whereas hospitalised at Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett in Bartlett, Tennessee, on Wednesday. His funeral is scheduled for 8 June.

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Updated: June 6, 2021 — 4:35 pm

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