Bob and Helen Singleton — arrested July 30, 1961 in Jackson, Miss — were among the few people to join the Freedom Rides as a married couple.

They were so inspired by the courage and commitment of earlier Freedom Riders in the South that they recruited fellow students from UCLA and Santa Monica College, plus civil rights activists across Southern California to join the emerging strategy to fill the jails.

From May through September of 1961, more than 300 Americans — men and women, black and white — volunteered to travel to Mississippi. They languished in Mississippi’s harshest prison, risking their own safety and freedom, to fight the injustice of segregation for all Americans.