Rosa Louise McCauley Parks was an American activist in the civil rights movement. Parks is best known for her pivotal role in the Montgomery bus boycott. The United States Congress has called her “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement”. On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks rejected the bus driver’s order to vacate a row of four seats in the “colored” section in favor of a white passenger, once the “white” section was filled. She helped inspire the black community to boycott the Montgomery buses for over a year. After retirement, Parks wrote her autobiography and continued to insist that there was more work to be done regarding justice. She received national recognition, including the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Congressional Gold Medal. When she died on October 24, 2005, she became the first woman in the nation’s history to lie in honor at the U.S. Capitol.
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