PREP FOOTBALL SCORING UPDATES PRESENTED BY THE HUNGRY HOBO:

Remembering Rosa Parks: Her bravery sparked a fight for civil rights


Share
Posted Online: Feb. 15, 2013, 10:50 am
Comment on this story | Print this story | Email this story
Civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks was born in Tuskegee, Ala., on Feb. 4, 1913 -- 100 years ago. As an adult, she worked as a secretary on an army base and a seamstress at a department store. She also volunteered with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to fight for equal rights for blacks. At age 42, she stepped onto a bus — and quietly opened a new chapter in our nation's history.
On Dec. 1, 1955, Parks broke the law. Her crime was to take an empty seat on a public bus in Montgomery, Ala. It's an act that doesn't seem special at all today. But in 1955, segregation laws in some states required separate seating for blacks and whites in restaurants, on buses and in other public spaces. Parks stood for racial equality by refusing to move when the driver asked her to give her seat to a white man. Parks sat quietly while the driver called the police.
"People always say that I didn't give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn't true," Parks said. "The only tired I was, was tired of giving in."
Parks was arrested, but her act of bravery set off a chain of events that changed the United States. African Americans responded to the injustice by refusing to ride buses in Montgomery, where about three-quarters of bus riders were black. Martin Luther King Jr. led the peaceful boycott, which lasted 381 days. In 1956, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that African Americans could not be forced to sit only in certain areas on buses. And in 1964, the Civil Rights Act outlawed racial discrimination in all public places.
After the boycott ended, Parks continued living in Montgomery with her husband, Raymond, and volunteering with the NAACP. But the couple both lost their jobs and received many threats from people who were angry about her civil rights work. They eventually decided to move north to Detroit. Rosa Parks found work as a seamstress and continued to fight for civil rights.
In 1965, Parks took part in a 50-mile march in Alabama with Dr. King to demand equal voting rights, a cause that was especially important to her. A few months later, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act, which made it easier for blacks to vote. That year, Parks also got a new job as an assistant to John Conyers, a black U.S. Congressman from Michigan. She later created an organization called the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development, which helped teens learn about African American History and find jobs. In 1999, President Bill Clinton presented her with the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor the U.S. government can give.
Many admirers call Parks the mother of the civil rights movement. She led by example, showing that peaceful protest could create dramatic change.
But Parks shared the credit. "The only thing that made it significant was that the masses of the people who joined in," she said.
On Oct. 24, 2005, Parks died at her home in Detroit. She was 92 years old. On Feb. 4, in honor of what would have been her 100th birthday, the U.S. Postal Service issued the Rosa Parks Forever Stamp. The world will continue to remember and honor a leader who took a stand by taking a seat.

















 




Local events heading








  Today is Saturday, Aug. 30, the 242nd day of 2014. There are 123 days left in the year.

1864 — 150 years ago: A large pair of elk, captured in Iowa, were exhibited in Market Square today.
1889 — 125 years ago: The Rock Island Arsenal dam was being constructed under the supervision of Charles Frances, of Lowell, Mass.
1914 — 100 years ago: Mrs. Frank Mixer, of Rock Island, was the winner of the final preliminary for the women's handicap golf cup at Rock Island arsenal links.
1939 — 75 years ago: Sixteen hundred persons — many from war-fearful Europe — arrived in New York aboard the German liner Bremen. For two days on the trip, passengers were cut off from the world with both incoming and outgoing radio messages banned.
1964 — 50 years ago: Police reported five youths have been involved in the theft of about seven cars in recent weeks. Three of the youths were arrested Saturday afternoon, one was in custody as the result of a previous arrest, and the fifth is expected to be arrested today.
1989 — 25 years ago: The Rock Island/Milan School Board is asking the city to tear down Franklin School and allow the school district to pay back the estimated $100,00 cost during 10 years.






(More History)