Detroit celebrates Parks' 100th birthday

Feb. 3, 2013 at 2:45 PM
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DETROIT, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- The 100th anniversary of Rosa Parks' birth Monday will be commemorated by a museum celebration and the release of a postage stamp honoring her, officials said.

Detroiters who knew Parks after she and her husband Raymond moved to Detroit in the late 1950s, reflected on her legacy, The Detroit News reported.

Parks, who sparked the civil rights movement and changed the course of history when she refused in 1955 to give up her seat in the front of a city bus to a white man in Montgomery, Ala., died in 2005 at age 92.

"The No. 1 takeaway obviously is ordinary people can cause extraordinary events to occur," said the Rev. Horace Sheffield III, who first met Parks as a youth 45 years ago. "We live in the day when we think it's pedigree, power and potential. Here was a woman that was simply fed up with the system and stood up. It caused a chain reaction of which we all are the beneficiaries."

Anita Peek, head administrator of the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development in Detroit, said Parks was a very special person.

The U.S. postage stamp, featuring Parks' likeness, will be unveiled at the Charles H. Wright Museum, the News reported.

A National Day of Courage -- a full day's celebration of Parks that will include performances and speakers -- will be held free of charge at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, the newspaper said.

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