The Who2 Blog

Rosa Parks Busted for Not Riding Bus

A Rosa Parks mug shot?

Indeed. This photo was unearthed by a Montgomery, Alabama sheriff's deputy when he cleaned out a department storage room in 2004. The shot was taken during the bus boycotts of 1956, a few months after Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her bus seat.

Ironically, this second arrest was for not riding the bus. Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. were among 90 people arrested on 22 February 1956 for violating an old Alabama law against boycotts. (Time magazine said the law "came straight from Alabama's legal boneyard.")

The boycott ended in triumph 10 months later, after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling ended segregation on city buses.

For those interested in Park artifacts, the National Archives has her fingerprint chart and a diagram of her seat on the bus.

For that matter, the Henry Ford Museum has the actual bus. (It was a GM.)