Rosa Parks Refuses to Move: Dec. 1, 1955

Montgomery, AL

Rosa Parks, a black woman in Montgomery, Ala., was arrested and fined for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man. Her arrest sparked creation of the Montgomery Improvement Association and led to a 382-day boycott of the Montgomery bus system by blacks. Parks was secretary of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and motivated other black women who had been forced to surrender seats to join a federal civil suit. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Nov. 13, 1956, that the Montgomery bus statute violated the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause. Her arrest triggered protests against racial segregation and discrimination, culminating in the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

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