Rosa Parks (February 4, 1913 – October 24, 2005) was an African-American Civil Rights activist, whom the United States Congress called “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement”. Her birthday, February 4, and the day she was arrested, December 1, have both become Rosa Parks Day, commemorated in both California and Ohio.
On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks refused to obey bus driver James F. Blake’s order to give up her seat in the colored section to a white passenger, after the white section was filled. Although Parks was not the first African American person to resist bus segregation. her act of defiance kicked off the bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, which proved to be a spark in the fight for equal rights.
Although widely honored in later years, she also suffered for her act; she was fired from her job as a seamstress in a local department store, and received death threats for years afterwards.
Parks died on Oct. 24, 2005, at the age of 92