Rosa Parks was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama, for refusing to obey an Alabama law and city ordinance that required African Americans to sit at the back of the bus and to give up their seats on the bus to make room for white passengers.  Mrs. Parks was an active member of the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP, although her refusal to give up her seat was a private act.  Her arrest sparked a 381-day boycott of the bus system.

Her arrest and the boycott also led to actions against Montgomery and the State of Alabama, for declaratory relief that the laws segregating transportation were unconstitutional.  In Browder v. Gayle, 352 U.S. 903 (1956), the Supreme Court affirmed the District Court’s holding that segregation in public transportation was unconstitutional.

To read more about Rosa Parks and her act of defiance, see The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks, by Jeanne Theoharis, and Alabama Women:  Their Lives and Times.

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