Dec. 1, 1955, Montgomery, Alabama


60 years ago today, Rosa Parks, a 42-year-old seamstress, refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus, sparking the boycott that gave enormous energy to the Civil Rights movement, including launching the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s career. Some like to point out that this event was not spontaneous and that black leaders in Montgomery had for months been working to set the stage. Others remark that those same leaders, and, for the most part, the world, ignored the more spontaneous refusal by a 15-year-old girl, Claudette Colvin, months before. Ms. Colvin was not regarded as the right person to be a test case, but Ms. Parks was. While Ms. Colvin deserves a better place in history, Ms. Parks’ act still required courage. And so it came to pass . . .

There’s a website dedicated to the Montgomery bus boycott.



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