Rosa Parks Day
- Rosa Parks Day
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.