5 facts to know about Rosa Parks, the Alabama bus

5 facts to know about Rosa Parks, the Alabama bus

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One of the icons of the civil rights movement, the legacy of Rosa Parks has lived on for generations as a sign of strength and courage amid hostile discrimination. 

Parks, who would’ve turned 107 years old today, is best known for refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger on a segregated Alabama bus, which not only led to her arrest, but sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The galvanizing boycott lasted for over a year, culminating with the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down segregation laws on public transportation.

Parks died in 2005 at the age of 92, but the Alabama native’s refusal to give up her bus seat on Dec. 1, 1955, lives on as a iconic story in American history. Here are five facts about that moment and the woman responsible for it:

1. Parks wasn’t the first 

Fifteen-year-old civil rights activist Claudette Colvin came before Parks in making news for being dragged off a bus and jailed for not giving up her seat. But she became pregnant soon after her arrest and civil rights leaders opted against using her as the case to spark a movement. That’s where Rosa Parks came in.

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