Special Display of Rosa Parks Documents at the National Archives, Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of an Act of Courage
Press Release · Thursday, December 1, 1955

Washington, DC

Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of an Act of Courage

Washington, DC. . . The National Archives commemorates the 50th anniversary of the arrest of Rosa Parks, the "Mother of the Civil Rights Movement," with a special exhibit of original documents which include a diagram of the bus showing where she was seated on December 1, 1955, a police report on her arrest, and her fingerprint chart.

The documents will be on display from Wednesday, November 23, through Thursday, December 15, in the East Rotunda Gallery of the National Archives Building. The National Archives Building is located on Constitution Avenue at 9th Street, N.W., and is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily, except December 25.

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 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.

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For further information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-501-5526.


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