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On this day in 1955, a 42-year-old woman named Rosa Parks made history for refusing to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama to a white man. This woman is now an American legend, and her courageous act of defiance has been documented as one of the most memorable acts in American history. Her story is the subject of songs and poetry, and she is revered as one of the most popular and important figures in the modern Civil Rights Movement.
Her small act of rebellion was just the tip of the iceberg, however. Rosa Parks was a fierce freedom fighter, and a known collaborator of the NAACP Montgomery chapter president Edgar Nixon, as well as of a young minister named Martin Luther King, Jr. Aside from her day job as a seamstress, she was secretary of the local Montgomery chapter of the NAACP, and upon leaving Montgomery for Detroit, served as secretary to John Conyers, a U.S. Representative who was an active Civil Rights Movement supporter. In her later years, she organized for the freedom of political prisoners in the U.S., and co-founded the Rosa L. Parks Scholarship Foundation for college bound seniors.
Her honorary title as the "first lady of civil rights," is further reinforced with the opening of Rosa Parks Collection at the Library of Congress. Rosa Parks is an inspiration to all women, for having the courage to stand up for her beliefs, and proving that well-behaved women rarely make history.