Saturday, December 1, 2018

Alabama recognizes Rosa Parks Day

Today is Rosa Parks Day.
Rosa Parks Day is an American holiday celebrated on February 4 or December 1 in honor of the civil rights leader Rosa Parks.

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, but 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 a passenger give up their seat. Despite this, bus drivers had customarily required black passengers to give up their seats to white passengers when the public transportation became full.

When Rosa Parks was asked to give up her seat, she refused. She was arrested and what followed is Civil Rights history. She was found guilty on December 5, 1955, 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 was a success and lasted several months, devastating the transportation system in Montgomery.


Use #RosaParksDay to post on social media.


Rosa Parks Day was created by the California State Legislature and first celebrated February 4, 2000. California chose to recognize the date of Rosa Park’s birth.  Ohio and Oregon celebrate Rosa Parks Day on the day she was arrested, December 1.
In addition to Ohio and Oregon, Alambama now celebrates Rosa Parks Day today.  Watch Rosa Parks Day in Alabama from CBS 42.

WSFA gave additional details.
The bill to declare Dec. 1 as Rosa Parks Day in Alabama passed unanimously in both the House and Senate. From there, it went to Gov. Kay Ivey who signed the bill into law.

“The fact that we had a 102-0 vote to have this celebration to honor Rosa Parks shows that Montgomery, and hopefully the state of Alabama, is not stuck in history and that we are moving forward," [Montgomery Mayor Todd] Strange said.

Even though the bill was singed into law, Rosa Parks Day is not considered an official state holiday. However, the new law does state that cities and counties can make it a holiday if they wish.
Here's to remembering a civil rights pioneer, who also has Detroit connections, although that's a story for another day.

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