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Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks is a noted civil rights activist. She was born Rosa Louise McCauley on February 4, 1913 in Tuskegee, Alabama. She is mainly known for her December 1, 1955 protest against laws requiring racial segregation, in which she refused to give up her seat to a white man and move to the back of the bus in Montgomery, Alabama. She was arrested and tried, and the case resulted in the 1956 United States Supreme Court ruling that overturned the Alabama law. People in Montgomery followed her lead and boycotted the bus system for more than a year.

Although she is known for refusing to give up her bus seat, she was not the first to do so. The NAACP considered but rejected earlier protesters deemed unable/unsuitable to withstand the pressure of a legal challenge to segregation laws (See Claudette Colvin, Mary Louise Smith, or Irene Morgan[?]). It has also been speculated that since Rosa Parks worked for the NAACP, the organization was predisposed towards selecting her.

After a lifetime of productive activity in the cause of fighting racism, Parks was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor[?] in 1999. (Other protesters such as Claudette Colvin, Mary Louise Smith or Irene Morgan[?] did not receive this medal.)

The Rosa Parks Library and Museum in Montgomery, Alabama, was dedicated in November 2001. It tells the story of the events leading up to her historic act of civil disobedience, and how her simple act connects to the larger tapestry of the civil rights movement.

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