Rosa Parks, Boycott Marked 55 Years Later

Rosa Parks gets fingerprinted by at the Montgomery, Ala., sheriff's office on 2-22-56 when she was arrested during the Montgomery bus boycott sparked by her 12-1-55 defiance of segregation by refusing to give up her seat on the bus to a white man. AP (file)

From a controversial Google doodle to panel discussion with civil rights leaders, various groups across the nation Wednesday celebrated the 55th anniversary of Rosa Parks' refusal to give her seat on a Montgomery, Ala., bus to a white passenger.

On Dec. 1, 1955, Parks, who died in 2005, sparked the famous Montgomery bus boycott led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. when she defied the Jim Crow law that required black passengers to move to the back of public buses to accommodate whites.

(Scroll down to watch Rosa Parks' obituary from 2005)

Parks was arrested for refusing to move. The subsequent boycott lasted for 381 days before the Supreme Court eventually ruled the Alabama law unconstitutional.

Google marked the anniversary by integrating its logo into a drawing of black and white children exiting a classic-looking bus.

However, the gesture has drawn some criticism. The Washington Post World AIDS Day, which is also celebrated Dec. 1. (The Post notes Google has partnered with AIDS organization (Red) to redden a Google Map of the world as more people publish updates on Twitter with the hashtag #turnred.)

Also on the Web, the Smithsonian Institution marked Parks' anniversary by displaying on its website a photo of the dress she was working on at the time, noting Parks worked as a seamstress at the Montgomery Fair department store before her entry into the history books. The dress, which Parks intended for personal use, is not on display at the Smithsonian's museums.

In Montgomery, baseball legend Hank Aaron, Martin Luther King III and U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., were scheduled to participate in panel discussions during the week to commemorate the anniversary. Tony-award winning actress and playwright Sarah Jones held a benefit concert at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival for the Rosa Parks Museum Monday night, CBS News affiliate WAKA-TV in Montgomery reported.

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