On December 1, 1955, a 42-year-old Alabama woman named Rosa Parks made a decision that would spark one of the most significant events in the Civil Rights Movement.
While riding the bus home from work, Parks was asked to vacate her seat at the front for a white, male passenger. She refused, and was subsequently arrested. On December 5, Parks was found guilty of violating segregation law, and fined $14 for her act of defiance.
The trial and sentence of Rosa Parks gave rise to a massive bus boycott that lasted 381 days. Less than one year after the boycott began, on November 23, 1956, the Supreme Court ruled segregated buses unconstitutional. The boycott ended the following month.
Rosa Parks’ simple yet incredibly courageous decision to remain seated at the front of the bus changed the course of civil rights history 62 years ago today.