Appreciating all that makes America special

Person: Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks is fingerprinted after she refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery city bus. Uploaded by

Rosa Parks is fingerprinted after refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery city bus. Uploaded by

She worked her shift as a seamstress, a day like any other in a job that didn’t change much. She took her seat on the city bus, no more tired than usual on that Thursday afternoon in 1955. But then the bus driver ordered her to give up her seat to a white passenger. Rosa stayed seated until America at last stood up full civil rights for all Americans.

Rosa has been celebrated and honored for her action, but the immediate consequences were much less pleasant. She was arrested and spent a day in jail, then lost her job at the Montgomery Fair department store. She received so many threats that she moved from Alabama to Detroit in 1957 for her safety.

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Rosa’s actions led to a 381-day boycott of city buses organized by a newly formed group called the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA). The MIA was led by an obscure 26-year-old pastor who quickly galvanized America: Martin Luther King, Jr.

Rosa Parks received a number of honors for her courageous stand, including the Springarn Medal given by the NAACP, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and she was named one of the 20 most influential and iconic people of the 20th century by Time


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