WAFB - One of the most significant moments in the civil rights movement occurred 62 years ago today in Montgomery, Alabama. On Dec. 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man while riding the bus, sparking a boycott of public transit and making Parks a symbol of the movement.
Parks was arrested and fined as the Jim Crow laws of the era required Parks to relinquish her seat to a white man despite the fact she was sitting in the black section of the bus.
Organized by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Montgomery Bus Boycott that began with Parks's arrest lasted 13 months. The following year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that segregation on public buses in Alabama was unconstitutional. The boycott ended the following month.
Many consider Rosa Parks to be the "mother of the civil rights movement."
Community leaders and politicians paid their respects to Parks and the change that her actions sparked today.