Rosa Parks Statue To Be Unveiled in US Capitol

More than half a century after she sat defiantly on an Alabama city bus, Rosa Parks will stand in the U.S. Capitol. President Barack Obama, congressional leaders and more than 50 of Parks’ relatives are expected to take part in the unveiling of a 9-foot statue of Parks in Statuary Hall, making her the first black woman to be so honored. On Dec. 1, 1955, Parks, then a 42-year-old seamstress, broke the law by refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger on a packed bus in Montgomery. Her arrest touched off a 381-day boycott of the bus system, a seminal moment in the civil rights movement. In 1956, the Supreme Court banned segregation on public transportation. Parks died in October 2005 at age 92. Six days later, she lay in honor in the Capitol Rotunda. The next month, President George W. Bush directed Congress to commission a statue of Parks for the Capitol. The Statuary Hall collection includes 100 statues in five locations in the Capitol. Among the others in Statuary Hall itself are William Jennings Bryan and Daniel Webster — and Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy.

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