By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
A U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R) from Alabama introduced resolution passed with bipartisan support honoring Rosa Parks on the 200th anniversary of her birth on February 4, 2013. The resolution was co-introduced by U.S. Senators Carl Levin (D) and Debbie Stabenow (D) both from Michigan.
Sen. Sessions said, “With this resolution, we honor one of Alabama’s most remarkable citizens, Mrs. Rosa Parks. Fifty-seven years ago, Mrs. Parks sparked the civil rights movement when she refused to give up her seat on a bus. Her courage ignited major changes in our nation and lead a revolution in race relations. Mrs. Parks will always be remembered as a courageous individual, who confronted injustice head-on and, in so doing, changed our nation. Her legacy continues to endure.”
Parks was born on February 4th, 1913 in Tuskegee, Alabama. On December 1, 1955 she refused an order from a bus driver to give up her seat in the colored section on a Montgomery, Alabama bus to a White passenger when the White section of the bus was filled. Parks was arrested for her “crime”, which sparked the Montgomery bus boycott under the direction of Montgomery pastor Martin Luther King Jr and Montgomery NAACP chapter President Edgar Nixon. The incident and the resulting bus boycott drew national and international attention to Alabama’s Jim Crow laws enforcing segregation of the races. Parks was fired from her job as a seamstress in a Montgomery department store and moved to Detroit, Michigan to find work. Parks eventually worked as a secretary and receptionist for U.S. Representative John Conyers (D) from 1965 to 1988.
The Rosa Parks Museum at Troy University in Montgomery, Alabama is collecting birthday wishes and community visions from individuals throughout the United States as part of the 100th Birthday Wishes Project. This project will culminate on February 4, 2013 with a 100th birthday celebration at the Davis Theatre for the Performing Arts.
Rosa Louise McCauley Parks has been called “the first lady of civil rights” by the U.S. Congress. Parks was awarded 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. When Parks died in 2005, she was the first woman and the second non-U.S. government official to lie in honor at the Capitol Rotunda.
Senator Jeff Sessions was previously the U.S. Attorney for North Alabama and was Alabama’s Attorney General prior to his election to the U.S. Senate. Session succeeded Sen. Howell Heflin (D).