Primary Source Set
The Tallahassee Ten
In June 1961, Interfaith Freedom Riders challenged segregated interstate buses by traveling from Washington, D.C. to Tallahassee, Florida. After successfully completing the Freedom Ride they planned to fly home but first decided to test whether or not the group would be served in the segregated airport restaurant. After being denied service, 10 Freedom Riders, later known as the Tallahassee Ten, were arrested for unlawful assembly.
Later that month they were sentenced to pay a $500 fine or serve 60 days in jail. They were released on bond and spent three years appealing the charges. Nine original riders returned to Tallahassee to serve their jail sentence in August 1964 (one paid the fine), but they were released after four days.
Photo credit: Rabbi Israel Dresner reads a message of support after being jailed in Tallahassee, 1964.
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Members of the "Tallahassee Ten" attempting to enter the Savarin Restaurant at the municipal airport, 1961
Rev. John Collier from Newark, N.J. (wearing bow tie), speaking with police as the "Tallahassee Ten" are arrested at the airport, 1961
Reverend Robert J. Stone, from New York City, being arrested with the "Tallahassee Ten" at the airport, 1961
Priscilla Stephens (later Kruize), from CORE, being arrested at the Tallahassee Regional Airport, 1961
Reverend John W. Collier from Newark, New Jersey, being arrested with the "Tallahassee Ten" at the airport, 1961
Priscilla Stephens (later Kruize), from CORE, and Reverend Petty D. McKinney, from Nyack, N.Y., in the back of a Tallahassee police car, 1961
"Tallahassee Ten" member, Reverend Arthur McArven Warner from New York City, being fingerprinted, 1961