Today is the birthday of the late civil rights activist Rosa Parks. To honor the woman that left a significant mark in the civil rights movement, the U.S. Postal service will issue a special Forever Stamp with an image of Rosa Parks. It is part of their 2013 civil rights series.
On Dec. 1, 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama for refusing to give up her seat on a municipal bus to a white man. Her arrest sparked the Montgomery bus boycott and other boycotts around the country. Rosa Parks was called the mother of the freedom movement by many.
While Rosa Parks was not the first woman to refuse to give up he seat (Irene Morgan, Sarah Louise Keys and Claudette Colvin did this prior to Parks), her refusal and subsequent arrest garnered the most attention from the media and the NAACP. Parks was serving a dual role as a seamstress and as secretary to the NAACP during the time of the incident. Though she lost her job as a seamstress at a local department store, her actions led to her image as an icon for change, giving hope and pride to many who wished to change the racist conditions in America.
Rosa Parks received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Springarn Medal, the Congressional Gold Medal and she is the first woman to lie in state at Capitol Hill’s rotunda. Her statue sits in the Capitol’s National Statutory Hall.