Alabama Honors Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks rides on the Montgomery Area Transit System bus, Alabama, in this undated photo. She was 42, a seamstress, when on Dec. 1, 1955, she defied segregation by refusing to give up her seat to a white man. AP (file)

Rosa Parks, the black seamstress who helped launch the civil rights movement by refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a bus in Alabama's capital, will be inducted this year into the state Women's Hall of Fame.

This is the first year that Parks, who died in October 2005 in Detroit at age 92, is eligible; women must be dead for at least two years before being considered. She will be this year's sole inductee

Photos: Final Farewell
"Rosa Parks was a woman of silent dignity and grace whose life changed the state, the nation and the world," said Valerie Pope Burnes, director of the Hall of Fame.

Parks was arrested Dec. 1, 1955, for refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery city bus. Her arrest prompted blacks to boycott the city's bus system and led to a Supreme Court decision ending segregation in public transportation.

The Montgomery bus boycott was led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., then a relatively unknown young minister. The boycott catapulted him to a leadership role in the civil rights movement.

Parks received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1996 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 1999.

The Alabama Women's Hall of Fame, founded in 1970, is at Judson College in Marion.

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