[Rosa Parks at her Congressional Gold Medal ceremony with assistant Elaine Steele (left) and civil rights leader Johnnie Carr (right) standing at podium; Representative Julia Carson, President Clinton, Senator Tom Daschle, Representative Dennis Hastert and others stand next to her]
Date from caption information for contact sheet ROLL CALL-1999-317 or corresponding negative sleeve.
Contact sheet available for reference purposes: ROLL CALL-1999-317, frame 15.
Contact sheet or negative sleeve caption: "Rosa Parks".
Forms part of: CQ Roll Call Photograph Collection.
Rosa Parks was born Rosa Louise McCauley in Tuskegee, Alabama, on February 4, 1913, to Leona (née Edwards), a teacher, and James McCauley, a carpenter. In addition to African ancestry, one of Parks' great-grandfathers was Scots-Irish and one of her great-grandmothers a part-Native American slave. On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks rejected bus driver James F. Blake's order to relinquish her seat in the "colored section" to a white passenger, after the whites-only section was filled. Parks' act of defiance and the Montgomery bus boycott became important symbols of the movement. She became an international icon of resistance to racial segregation. She organized and collaborated with civil rights leaders, including Edgar Nixon, president of the local chapter of the NAACP; and Martin Luther King Jr., a new minister in Montgomery who gained national prominence in the civil rights movement and went on to win a Nobel Peace Prize. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) believed that she was the best candidate for seeing through a court challenge after her arrest for civil disobedience in violating Alabama segregation laws. Parks' prominence in the community inspired the black community to boycott the Montgomery buses for over a year. Shortly after the boycott, she moved to Detroit, where she was active in the Black Power movement and the support of political prisoners in the US. Parks received national recognition, including the NAACP's 1979 Spingarn Medal, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Gold Medal, and a posthumous statue in the United States Capitol's National Statuary Hall. Upon her death in 2005, she was the first woman to lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda, becoming the third of only four Americans to ever receive this honor. California and Missouri commemorate Rosa Parks Day on her birthday February 4, while Ohio and Oregon commemorate the occasion on the anniversary of the day she was arrested, December 1.