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It was on this day in 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama that Rosa Parks, the mother of the civil rights movement, is jailed for refusing to give up her seat on the bus to a white man and igniting a more than year long bus boycott.

As African Americans previously made up 70 percent of the Montgomery bus ridership, the municipal transit system suffered gravely during the boycott. On November 13, 1956, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Alabama state and Montgomery city bus segregation laws as being in violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The boycott ended December 21, 1956 – Rosa Parks was among the first to ride the newly desegregated buses.

The successful Montgomery Bus Boycott organized by Martin Luther King, Jr. and his nonviolent civil rights movement had won its first great victory.  As we know, there would be many more to come.

Three days after Rosa Parks died in 2005, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution to honor Parks by allowing her body to lie in honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.

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