Today’s Document from the National Archives

Document for December 1st:
Diagram of the Bus Showing Where Rosa Parks Was Seated


Illustration of bus where Rosa Parks sat, December 1, 1955

Diagram of the Bus Showing Where Rosa Parks Was Seated (National Archives Identifier: 596069); File Unit: Aurelia S. Browder et al. v. W. A. Gayle et al., No. 1147; U.S. District Court for the Northern (Montgomery) Division of the Middle District of Alabama. (1839 - ); Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685 - 1991; Record Group 21; National Archives.

On December 1, 1955, during a typical evening rush hour in Montgomery, Alabama, a 42 year-old woman took a seat near the front of the bus (illustrated in this diagram) on her way home from the Montgomery Fair department store where she worked as a seamstress. Before she reached her destination, she quietly set off a social revolution when the bus driver instructed her to move, and she refused. The bus driver called the police and they arrested Rosa Parks, an African American woman of unchallenged character.

The African-American community of Montgomery organized a boycott of the buses in protest of the discriminating treatment they had endured for years. The boycott, under the leadership of 26-year-old minister Martin Luther King, Jr., was a peaceful, coordinated protest that lasted 381 days and captured world attention.

Read more at An Act of Courage, The Arrest Records of Rosa Parks...
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Yesterday's document: November 30th
"Big Three" in Teheran

Tomorrow's document: December 2nd
Censure of Senator Joseph McCarthy

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