Rosa Parks became one of the major symbols of the modern civil rights movement when she was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama, on December 1, 1955, after refusing to give up her seat in the black section of a city bus to a white passenger. For 381 days, African-Americans boycotted public transportation to protest Parks’ arrest and, in turn, segregation laws. The boycott led to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling desegregating public transportation in Montgomery and catapulted its organizer, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., to the forefront of the civil rights movement. Pictured here, Parks rides the bus in 1956, a day after the Supreme Court rulingParks died in 2005 at the age of 92. In a 1995 interview, she said she wasn’t angry about being asked to leave her seat, just resolute.
“I don’t remember feeling that anger, but I did feel determined to take this as an opportunity to let it be known that I did not want to be treated in that manner and that people have endured it far too long,” she said.