Introduction - Rosa Parks
On December 1, 1955 Rosa Parks was riding a public bus in Montgomery, Alabama. At that time the buses in the south were legally segregated into a white section, in the
front, and a black section, in the back. When the white section became full and several white passengers had no seats the bus driver asked Parks and three other black
people to give up their seats in the colored section. Three of the black people complied with the bus drivers demand, however Rosa Parks did not; she bravely refused
to get up and was promptly arrested. On the day her trial began, December 5th of 1955, the Montgomery Bus Boycott began. African-Americans boycotted the Montgomery
buses until the Supreme Court put an end to segregated buses. Her refusal to get up that day followed by her arrest is widely considered the spark of the black civil
rights movement; after the Montgomery Bus Boycott Civil Rights leaders went on to organize numerous battles against discrimination. The incident on the bus made Rosa
Parks one of the most famous women in black history.
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Whether you are a kid researching a paper for Black history month or are just interested in learning more about this famous woman in history we hope the list of interesting facts below is helpful. You will find below information on where Rosa Parks lived, what motivated her to stand up for her civil rights, and how she helped the fight of African-American people against discrimination.
Rosa Parks Interesting Facts
- Rosa Parks was born Rosa Louise McCauley in Tuskegee Alabama on February 4th of 1913 and died of natural causes on October 24th of 2005 at the age of 92.
- She married Raymond Parks, a member of the NAACP, in 1932.
- A little know interesting fact is that Rosa Parks was not the first black person to refuse to give a seat on a bus to a white person. There were several; notably 15 year old Claudette Colvin, who was arrested in Montgomery Alabama 9 months prior to Park's arrest. For various reasons none were selected by the NAACP, who were searching for the right person for a lawsuit to challenge bus segregation.
- After gaining fame from her bravery on the bus Rosa Parks spent the rest of her life dedicated to the fight against discrimination. She made numerous speaking engagements donating most of the money made to the fight for freedom.
- In 1992 she published an autobiography titled "Rosa Parks: My Story".
- The bus on which Parks made her famous stand against discrimination is on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.
Rosa Parks HonorsAll the honors bestowed upon this famous black woman are way too numerous to list here. Perhaps the most touching is a few days after her death the buses in Montgomery Alabama, where she had been arrested fifty years earlier, reserved the front seats of all their buses by placing black ribbons on them until Park's funeral. Some of her other honors are listed below.
- When she died in 2005 she was honored by having her casket lying in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda; an honor usually reserved for U.S. Presidents and other important U.S. government officials. She was only the 31st person to receive this honor and the first woman. Some 50,000 people viewed her casket at the Capital.
- The Presidential Medal of Freedom (1996). The U.S. executive branch's highest honor.
- The Spingarn Medal (1979). The NAACP's highest honor.
- The Congressional Gold Medal (1999). The U.S. legislative branch's highest honor. Inscribed on the medal is "Mother of the Modern Day Civil Rights Movement".
- She became the first African American woman honored with a statue in the United States Capitol's National Statuary Hall.