Dec. 1, 1955
On Dec. 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, a 42-year-old seamstress named Rosa Parks was arrested after refusing to give up her bus seat to a white passenger, even after the white bus driver demanded that she do it. After her arrest, Parks was tried and convicted for civil disobedience.
The Start of a Movement
Parks’ arrest led to a year-long bus boycott by Montgomery’s Black residents, and eventually the Supreme Court ruling that bus segregation was unconstitutional.
In the News
On Feb. 23, 1956, a New York Times article reported on the indictment of 115 citizens, including Parks, for boycotting the Montgomery buses. They were arrested on “boycotting charges.” The Montgomery Bus Boycott is widely credited for sparking the modern Civil Rights Movement.
One Year Later
Parks sat in the front of a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, after the Supreme Court ruled segregation illegal on the city bus system on Dec. 21, 1956.
In this iconic photo, Parks waited to board a bus at the end of the boycott on Dec. 26, 1956, with the modern Civil Rights Movement just beginning. Parks died in 2005 after a lifetime of fighting against civil rights injustices.
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