Rosa Parks Day:
Observed annually on every December 1st, the Rosa Parks Day commemorates Rosa Parks, the late civil rights leader for her role in the historical Montgomery Bus Boycott! This day reminds us of the struggles faced by racial discrimination and the Bravehearts that fought for their rights!
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Related: Other National Days Celebrated on December 1st:
Why Rosa Parks Day?
Rosa Parks was a seamstress as well as the Secretary of NAACP, Montgomery. In 1955, She went on to get educated on “Race Relations” from the Highlander Folk School, Tennessee. One of the tactics they were equipped with was the nonviolent civil disobedience.
It was also a time where the bus was not explicitly segregated for the black and the white passengers. But it was implicit that the front door was to be used by the whites and the back door was for the blacks. Rosa Parks was once refused entry via the front door and asked to board from the back door. While she walked towards the rear door, the driver drove away without her. Also, the bus drivers were allowed to assign passenger seating and it became a custom to demand black passengers to give up seats for white passengers when the bus was filled.
On December 1st,1955, Parks happened to hop onto a bus in Montgomery to head home. She was sitting in the first row allocated for the ‘colored section’. The bus began to fill as more people started boring it. When a Caucasian man boarded the same bus, all the people seated in her row were asked to vacate their seating. Everyone consented, but Rosa Parks refused to give up her seating.
Since she did not comply with the driver’s seating assignment, she was arrested. On December 5th, she was charged guilty and was fined $10 with an additional $4 for court proceedings.
This action of her’s triggered the blacks to boycott the Montgomery services for nearly a year as a campaign against racial segregation in public transportation. The Bus service suffered tremendous loss as people used private vehicles for transport. This civil rights movement was also joined by Reverend Martin Luther King Jr and Ralph Abernathy. On December 20, 1956, the US supreme courts passed a federal ruling that segregation in public transport was illegal and unconstitutional. This campaign also fueled up many other civil rights movements in the US.
How Can We Observe Rosa Parks Day?
- Know more about Rosa Parks!
Observe Rosa Parks Day by increasing your knowledge base. Learn more about Rosa Parks by reading books such as Rosa Parks by Rosa Parks, Boycott (2001), and Selma (2014) and many other books on the topic.
- Understand how the Boycott affected the Bus system!
You may also enjoy the day by learning how Boycotting the Montgomery Buses affected the bus services in the past. You could also learn about the other such incidents in history.
- Read a book or watch a movie related to this event
If you are not a Bookworm, you can still observe the day by watching movies or documentaries related to this event or Rosa Parks!
- Share your thoughts on social media
Share your thoughts about Rosa Parks Day to encourage friends and family on social media! Use hashtags #RosaParksDay to share your posts today!
Interesting Facts About Rosa Parks Day
Here are some interesting facts surrounding Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott!
- Rosa Parks was not the first to be arrested and fined for refusing a seat on a Montgomery Bus!
- Claudette Colvin, a 15-year-old, was the first African- American followed by three others. All of them refused to give up their seats and were arrested and fined!
- Parks was not occupying the white’s only seats
- A few weeks after the December 1st arrest, she was again arrested for her part in the Montgomery Bus Boycott
- Parks died at the age of 92 and became the first woman to be laid down the US capitol
History Of Rosa Parks Day:
The California State Legislature founded Rosa Parks Day and it was celebrated for the first time on January 5th, 2000 as a tribute to the late civil rights leader -Rosa Parks. However, the Ohio and Oregon states observe Rosa Parks Day on December 1st, the day she was arrested in 1955. In Missouri, it is observed on February 4th, Rosa Parks’ birth anniversary! However, today is not a federal holiday!