65th Anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott

Beginning on Dec. 5, 1955, the boycott, which was led by Martin Luther King Jr., lasted 381 days.

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This an undated photo shows Rosa Parks riding on the Montgomery Area Transit System bus. Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus on Dec. 1, 1955, and ignited the boycott that led to a federal court ruling against segregation in public transportation. In 1955, Montgomery's racially segregated buses carried 30,000 to 40,000 blacks each day. (AP Photo/Daily Advertiser)
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On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks, who was a member of the NAACP, refused to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery bus. She was arrested and fined. Although people like Claudette Colvin did the same months before, this was the moment that would spark the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Beginning on Dec. 5, 1955, the boycott, which was led by Martin Luther King Jr., lasted 381 days.

It was considered the first large-scale demonstration for civil rights in the United States. In addition to using private cars, some people used non-motorized means to get around, such as cycling, walking, or even riding mules or driving horse-drawn buggies. Others hitchhiked. Ultimately, the United States Supreme Court ordered the city of Montgomery to integrate the transit system.



Click ▶️ to listen to Clay Cane’s AURN News report:

FILE – In this Feb. 22, 1956, file photo, Rosa Parks is fingerprinted by police Lt. D.H. Lackey in Montgomery, Ala., after refusing to give up her seat on a bus for a white passenger on Dec. 1, 1955. Yellowing court records from the arrests of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. and others at the dawn of the modern civil rights era are being preserved and digitized after being discovered, folded and wrapped in rubber bands, in a courthouse box. (AP Photo/Gene Herrick, File)
A Montgomery (Ala.) Sheriff’s Department booking photo of Rosa Parks taken Feb 22, 1956, after she was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus for a white passenger on Dec. 1, 1955 in Montgomery, Ala. (AP Photo/Montgomery County Sheriff’s office)

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