IAM Salutes Rosa Park’s 100th Birthday

The arrest of Rosa Parks in 1955 for refusing to surrender her seat to a white passenger led to a city-wide bus boycott and the 1956 Supreme Court decision banning segregation.

Born on February 4, 1913, this week marks the 100th birthday of civil rights activist Rosa Parks.

Special events celebrating the birth of the legendary seamstress included the unveiling of a Rosa Parks “forever” stamp by the U.S. Postal Service and the release of a new book “The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks” by a Brooklyn College professor.

President Barack Obama paid his own special tribute with a proclamation.

In a visit to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI, President Barack Obama sits on the city bus where civil rights activist Rosa Parks stood her ground against racial segregation.

“On December 1, 1955, our Nation was forever transformed when an African-American seamstress in Montgomery, Alabama, refused to give up her seat on a city bus to a white passenger,” reads the proclamation. “Just wanting to get home after a long day at work, Rosa Parks may not have been planning to make history, but her defiance spurred a movement that advanced our journey toward justice and equality for all.”

The president called upon all Americans to observe the day, Feb. 4, with “service, community, and education programs to honor Rosa Parks’ enduring legacy.”

Former IAM members restore the historic Rosa Parks bus to its original 1955 condition in 2002.

“Rosa Parks’ strength and courage to stand up for what she believed in still resonates with many of our members today,” said Babineaux. “We are very proud to be a part of such an important part of American history.”

Last year, President Obama visited the historic public transit bus restored to its original 1955 condition by former IAM members in 2002. The completed bus is currently on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI.