Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks

Posted on January 16, 2015

Known as the First Lady of Civil Rights and the mother of the freedom movement, Rosa Parks changed history when she refused to give up her bus seat in the colored section to a white passenger.

Feb. 4, 1913
Rosa Louise McCauley is born in Tuskegee, Alabama to James and Leona McCauley.

1932
Marries Raymond Parks, a barber from Montgomery, Alabama. Raymond is a member of the NAACP.

1934
Receives her high school diploma after her husband urges her to do so.

Dec. 1943
Parks joins the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP and is elected secretary to its president, E.D. Nixon. She later says of this: “I was the only woman there, and they needed a secretary, and I was too timid to say no.”

Dec. 1, 1955
Parks refuses to give up her bus seat to a white man when the bus driver orders her to do so. She is arrested and fined $14.

Dec. 5, 1955
Parks stands trial and is found guilty of breaking the segregation laws. This leads to a 381-day boycott of the Montgomery bus system organized by Martin Luther King, Jr.

1957
After receiving threats and losing her job, Parks and her husband move from Alabama to Detroit.

1977
Her husband, Raymond, dies of cancer.

1980
In honor of the 25th anniversay of her bus stand, The Detroit News and Detroit Public Schools establish the Rosa Parks Scholarship Foundation.

1987
Parks founds the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development.

1992
Publishes her first book, Rosa Parks My Story.

Sept. 1994
A 28 year-old man breaks into Parks’ Detroit home, robs her, and assaults her. She says of the attack: “”I regret very much that some of our people are in such a mental state that they would hurt and rob an older person.”

1995
Speaks at the Million Man March in Washington, D.C.

April 1999
Parks files a lawsuit against rap group OutKast for using her name without her consent in a song title. The group hires the attorney for Martin Luther King Jr.’s estate to defend them. The judge rules against Parks, causing public outrage.

1999
President Clinton awards her the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor.

2000
The Rosa Parks Museum and Library opens in Montgomery, Alabama.

2002
Her landlord threatens to evict her from her Detroit apartment after her caregivers are late making rent payments.

Oct. 2004
Her landlord decides to let her live indefinitely in her apartment without having to pay rent.

Oct. 25, 2005
Parks dies in Detroit at the age of 92.

Oct. 30, 2005
Becomes the first woman to lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda, Washington D.C.

Nov. 2, 2005
Rosa Parks is buried in Detroit with the bodies of her husband and her mother.

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