The Freedom Riders were a group of 13 black and white civil rights advocates who protested highway and bus station facility segregation in the South. The Freedom Riders, organized by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), left from Washington, D.C. on May 4th, 1961. They traveled through the south, attempting to desegregate bus stations and highway facilities by using those designated for the other race. They faced massive violence from white protesters in Alabama. Their rough treatment brought their cause national and international attention. Hundreds of new freedom riders joined their cause, and that fall the federal government issued regulations prohibiting segregation in interstate transit terminals.