ROSA PARKS DAY
Rosa Parks Day honors an American Civil Rights hero. On either February 4 or December 1, the holiday recognizes the civil rights leader Rosa Parks.
On December 1, 1955, after a long day of work, Rosa Parks boarded a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. She took her seat in the ‘colored’ section. As she rode the Cleveland Avenue bus home, the bus began to fill.
The Montgomery city ordinance allowed bus drivers to assign seating. However, it did not permit them to demand passengers give up their seats. Despite this, bus drivers customarily required black passengers to give up their seats to white passengers when public transportation became full.
When the bus driver asked Rosa Parks to give up her seat, she refused. Police arrested her, and what followed is Civil Rights history. On December 5, 1955, Rosa Parks was found guilty of violating the city ordinance and fined $10 plus a court fee.
African American leaders, including E.D. Nixon and Martin Luther King, Jr. (see Martin Luther King, Jr. Day), organized the Montgomery Bus Boycott for the day of Rosa Park’s trial. The boycott succeeded and lasted several months, devastating the transportation system in Montgomery.
HOW TO OBSERVE #RosaParksDay
Learn more about Rosa Parks, that day in Montgomery, Alabama, and her role in the Civil Rights movement. Discover how the Montgomery Bus Boycott affected the bussing system. Several books and films offer insight to this day in history and the Civil Rights movement to follow.
- Quiet Strength: The Faith, the Hope, and the Heart of a Woman Who Changed a Nation by Gregory J. Reed and Rosa Parks
- Rosa Parks by Rosa Parks
- She Would Not Be Moved by Herbert R. Kohl
- Boycott (2001)
- Selma (2014)
Use #RosaParksDay to post on social media.
ROSA PARKS DAY HISTORY
The California State Legislature created Rosa Parks Day and first celebrated February 4, 2000. California chose to recognize the date of Rosa Park’s birth. Ohio and Oregon celebrate on the day of her arrest, December 1.
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