Feb 4, 1913. Born Rosa Louise McCauley in Tuskegee, AL, Rosa Parks was a seamstress who was active with the NAACP. On a fateful day in Montgomery, AL, in 1955, a time when African Americans were obligated by law to ride in the back of a bus, she refused to give up her seat to a white man during a ride home from work. Parks was subsequently arrested, found guilty of disorderly conduct and fined $ 14. This simple act sparked the modern civil rights movement, leading to a 381-day boycott of the Montgomery bus system, lawsuits and an eventual Supreme Court decision decreeing segregation to be unconstitutional.
A hero to blacks and whites alike, Parks continued work on civil rights until her death on Oct 25, 2005, at Detroit, MI. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal, and she is the only American woman to lie in state at the US Capitol Rotunda. Many municipalities consider Dec 1, the day of her arrest in 1955, a holiday: Rosa Parks Day.
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