WASHINGTON, DC - President Barack Obama issued a statement Wednesday honoring the actions of the late Rosa Parks who, 55 years ago on December 1, refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus. Her actions sparked a bus boycott that ultimately lead to desegration of the bus system.
"Fifty-five years ago, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus – an act that challenged the moral conscience of an entire nation," the President said. "The Montgomery Bus Boycott marked a turning point in American history – the moment where we began the march toward the Civil Rights Movement and the eventual outlawing of racial segregation and discrimination. Rosa Parks and the many other leaders and foot soldiers in that struggle for justice championed our founding principles of freedom and equality for all, and today, as we commemorate the anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, I encourage all Americans to honor their legacy – the legacy of Americans who marched bravely, worked tirelessly, and devoted their lives to the never-ending task of making our country a more perfect union.
Parks, who eventually left Alabama, passed away in 2005. Her memory is commemorated in street names, gardens and even a library and museum. You can visit her library in Montgomery here.