Rosa Parks, 1913-2005

Civil rights pioneer Rosa Louise Parks died yesterday in her home at the age of 92.

Mrs. Parks was one of those rare people who lit a tiny spark that resulted in a wildfire that couldn’t be quenched. Her simple refusal to yield her seat to a white man on a Montgomery bus on December 1, 1955 set off a chain of events that led to the ascent of Martin Luther King, Jr. as the figurehead of the civil rights movement, the Montgomery bus boycotts, and ultimately the outlawing of racial discrimination in public accommodations. She wasn’t the first black woman to practice this kind of civil disobedience, but she was the last straw.

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