By challenging this, Rosa Parks became known
as the “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement.”
After a long day’s work on Dec. 1, 1955, Rosa Parks,
43, paid her fare on a Montgomery, Ala. bus and took a seat
mid-section of the bus.
The bus began to fill with passengers, and according to segregation
laws, blacks were required to give up their seats to white
people who were standing in the bus.
The bus driver got up and asked Parks, along with one black
man and two black women, to move to the back of the bus so
man could sit down. The other black passengers complied, however
Parks refused. When asked again, she didn’t budge.
The driver called the police and Parks was arrested.
Five days after her arrest, Parks was found guilty of disorderly
conduct and was fined.
This was the spark that ignited the push for civil rights.
Parks’ courage drove other blacks to start the Montgomery
Led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the newly installed president
of the Montgomery Improvement Association, the black people
of Montgomery walked, carpooled, or found alternate transportation.
The Montgomery Improvement Association filed suit in federal
court alleging discrimination by the bus service. On June 2,
1956, the federal court ruled segregation on buses unconstitutional.
An appeal was sent to the United States Supreme Court, where
the lower court’s ruling was upheld.
The boycott ended 381 days later, and for the first time,
Parks could step onto a bus and sit wherever she chose.