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Dr. Richard Harris House play video

Now when I come in the house and I walk through it and talk to visitors, they come in and they say that they feel a spirit when they walk through the door, that they feel something when they come in.

- Dr. Valda Harris Montgomery


Dr. Richard Harris House

This house, originally constructed at the turn of the century, was the home of Dr. Richard H. Harris Jr. and his family. In May 1961, Dr. Harris opened this home to 33 Freedom Riders challenging interstate bus segregation who were harassed and attacked at the Montgomery Greyhound Bus Station upon arrival.

In the days following the attack, Harris’ home served as a haven for the Freedom Riders while martial law was declared in the area. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rev. Ralph D. Abernathy, James Farmer, John Lewis, Diane Nash, and other leaders of the Civil Rights Movement met at the Harris House to develop a strategy for continuing the rides.

On May 24, after solemn prayer, the Freedom Riders were escorted from the Harris House by the National Guard to the Greyhound Bus Station to continue their mission to Jackson, Mississippi.

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Map & Information

Dr. Richard Harris House

South Jackson Street, Montgomery, AL, USA
(334) 220-9979

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Freedom riders rescued from First Baptist Church relax and plan at the Harris House

by Paul Schutzer/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images