White supremacists burned down a Freedom Riders bus in 1961 | USA TODAY

On May 14, 1961, outside Anniston, Alabama, Hank Thomas and other Freedom Riders huddled on a Greyhound bus as a white mob threw a firebomb inside.

RELATED: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOt8RmB94f8

Thick smoke billowed out of the shattered bus windows surrounding him, curling in the southern heat. It mixed with a chorus of screams, flung with venom from the mob encircling the marooned Greyhound bus. Inside, he and his fellow passengers crawled between seats through broken glass, gagging as a gritty soot coated their throats.

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