Almanac: Rosa Parks

Almanac: Rosa Parks
Almanac: Rosa Parks 01:47

And now a page from our "Sunday Morning" Almanac: February 4th, 1913, 105 years ago today … the day civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks was born in Tuskegee, Alabama.

A seamstress by trade and a civil rights activist, it was her arrest on December 1, 1955 for refusing to give a white man her seat on a segregated Montgomery, Alabama bus that secured her place in American history.

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Because Rosa Parks was not a white woman, she was told to give up her seat for a white man on a Montgomery, Ala., bus in 1955. She refused, and was arrested. CBS News

"People always say that I didn't give up my seat because I was tired," Rosa Parks wrote years later, "but that isn't true.  I was not tired physically ... No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in."

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Rosa Parks, with Vice President Al Gore,  displays her Congressional Gold Medal of Honor before a benefit tribute concert in her honor, Nov. 28, 1999, in Detroit. PAUL SANCYA/AFP/Getty Images

Plenty of other blacks in Montgomery were tired of giving in, too. They launched a boycott of city buses, which finally ended 381 days later -- in December 1956 -- after the Supreme Court ruled bus segregation unconstitutional. 

Forever modest about her bus protest, she always described her motivation in simple terms: 

"I had been treated all of my life, as far back as I could remember, being treated as less than a full person," she said.

Rosa Parks received the Congressional Gold Medal in 1999, and was the first woman to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol upon her death in 2005 at age 92.

A humble woman of monumental achievement.

       
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