Rosa Parks Was Born 109 Years Ago Today: Relive the Civil Rights Activist's Inspiring Moments

On Dec. 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks was arrested after refusing to move to the back of a bus to accommodate a white passenger

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Dec. 1, 1955

Rosa Louise McCauley Parks (1913-2005), American Civil Rights activist. Booking photo taken at the time of her arrest for refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus to a white passenger on 1 December 1955.
Universal History Archive/Getty

On Dec. 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, a 42-year-old seamstress named Rosa Parks was arrested after refusing to give up her bus seat to a white passenger, even after the white bus driver demanded that she do it. After her arrest, Parks was tried and convicted for civil disobedience.

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The Start of a Movement

Rosa Parks Gets Fingerprinted
Underwood Archives/Getty

Parks' arrest led to a year-long bus boycott by Montgomery's Black residents, and eventually the Supreme Court ruling that bus segregation was unconstitutional.

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In the News

rosa-parks5
The New York Times

On Feb. 23, 1956, a New York Times article reported on the indictment of 115 citizens, including Parks, for boycotting the Montgomery buses. They were arrested on "boycotting charges." The Montgomery Bus Boycott is widely credited for sparking the modern Civil Rights Movement.

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One Year Later

Rosa Parks
Getty

Parks sat in the front of a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, after the Supreme Court ruled segregation illegal on the city bus system on Dec. 21, 1956.

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Her Legacy

Rosa Parks Boards A Bus
Don Cravens/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty

In this iconic photo, Parks waited to board a bus at the end of the boycott on Dec. 26, 1956, with the modern Civil Rights Movement just beginning. Parks died in 2005 after a lifetime of fighting against civil rights injustices.

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