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Rosa Parks strikes Liberty bell in Philadelphia on MLK Day
Civil Rights activist Rosa Parks joins Philadelphia Mayor Goode in a symbolic striking of the cracked Liberty Bell at Independent Plaza on Janaury 18, 1988 at approximately the same time bells in Atlanta and London were rung in memory of the late Martin Luther King. The ceremony was part of day long activities to celebrate the holiday of Martin Luther King Day. (UPI Photo/Anderson/Files)
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Rosa Louise McCauley Parks (February 4, 1913 – October 24, 2005) was an African-American civil rights activist, whom the U.S. Congress called "the first lady of civil rights", and "the mother of the freedom movement".

On December 1, 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks, age 42, refused to obey bus driver James Blake's order that she give up her seat to make room for a white passenger. While her action was not the first of its kind to impact the civil rights issue (see also Lizzie Jennings in 1854, Irene Morgan in 1946, Sarah Louise Keys in 1955, Claudette Colvin on the same bus system nine months before Parks), Parks' individual action of civil disobedience created further impact by sparking the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Parks' act of defiance became an important symbol of the modern Civil Rights Movement and Parks became an international icon of resistance to racial segregation. She organized and collaborated with civil rights leaders, including boycott leader Martin Luther King, Jr., helping to launch him to national prominence in the civil rights movement.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Rosa Parks."
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