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Today in history: May 21
In 1961, President Kennedy sent federal marshals to Montgomery, Ala., to keep order after race riots broke out
An unidentified young black 'Freedom Rider' is told to leave a segregated white waiting room at a bus depot in Jackson, Miss., May 26, 1961.
An unidentified young black 'Freedom Rider' is told to leave a segregated white waiting room at a bus depot in Jackson, Miss., May 26, 1961. Express Newspapers/Getty Images

May 21

On this day. 1961: After race riots broke out in Montgomery, Ala., President John F. Kennedy sent 300 federal marshals into the city to keep order. JFK sent the marshals in after Alabama Gov. John Patterson said he could not guarantee that law and order would be maintained. The Montgomery riots were connected to the Freedom Rides, in which civil rights activists traveled the south by bus challenging segregation.

Quote of the day

"Too often we... enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -John F. Kennedy


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