MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Dec. 1 is officially Rosa Parks Day in Alabama.
“This is the first Rosa Parks Day since the state legislature passed the bill designating it as such,” Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange said.
Parks was arrested on Dec. 1, 1955 after refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus to a white man. Her arrest sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
The bill to declare Dec. 1 as Rosa Parks Day in Alabama passed unanimously in both the House and Senate. From there, it went to Gov. Kay Ivey who signed the bill into law.
“The fact that we had a 102-0 vote to have this celebration to honor Rosa Parks shows that Montgomery, and hopefully the state of Alabama, is not stuck in history and that we are moving forward," Strange said.
Even though the bill was singed into law, Rosa Parks Day is not considered an official state holiday. However, the new law does state that cities and counties can make it a holiday if they wish.
On Saturday, the city of Montgomery will be celebrating Rosa Parks Day through a series of events.
- 8 a.m.- Unity breakfast at Saint Paul AME Church
- 10 a.m.- Short film screening at the Rosa Parks Museum
- 11 a.m.- Spoken word at Saint Paul AME Church
- 12 p.m.- Rosa Parks tribute at Alabama State University’s Tullibody Hall
- 3 p.m.- Commemoration program at Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church
- 3:30 p.m.- Celebratory march beginning at Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church to the Rosa Parks Museum
- 4:30 p.m.- Commemoration program at the Federal Courthouse (featuring Keith Watkins and Myron Thompson)
- 5:30 p.m.- Closing ceremony and unveiling of the official Rosa Parks marker at Saint Paul AME Church
“We’re excited to commemorate this special day at the Rosa Parks Museum, and we’re looking forward to welcoming hundreds of visitors," said Dr. Felicia Bell, director of the Rosa Parks Museum.
The Rosa Parks Museum will also be offering free admission on Saturday and will be open until 5 p.m.