American civil rights icon Rosa Parks was born on February 4, 1913 in Tuskegee, Alabama. She made her mark in history in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955, when she refused to give up her bus seat to a white man. Rosa Parks was arrested and fined for violating that city’s strict segregation laws.
Parks died in 2005. Already a winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, she was given a funeral in Montgomery, then transported to Washington, D.C., where she lay in state in the rotunda of the Capitol, the first woman to be so honored.
You can actually watch Rosa Parks funeral, if so inclined, by going to C-SPAN.
To celebrate her birthday, start with the Who2 biography of Rosa Parks.
Then try this neat list of “Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Rosa Parks.”
Want some memorabilia? Check eBay (no, really!) for gems like this signed check to pay her electric bill in 1995.
For archive lovers, the U.S. government provides a copy of her arrest records.
Not sure Rosa Parks is really all that great? Don’t think she deserves to be called a hero? Then you are in the same club as this crazy guy, who says she was a (gasp!) communist.