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Montgomery To Rosa Parks: We're Sorry

The City Council has a message for late civil rights icon Rosa Parks and other blacks who were mistreated in Montgomery during the 1950s: We're sorry.

The majority-white council voted unanimously Tuesday to make a formal apology to Parks, who died in October, and four women who filed a federal lawsuit that resulted in court orders mandating the desegregation of city buses.

The council's resolution also apologized to "all others who suffered the same indignities" as Parks.

Parks was arrested in 1955 for refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery city bus to a white man. The arrest sparked the Montgomery bus boycott and led to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. becoming a national civil rights leader.

The Rev. Joseph Rembert, who was Parks' pastor before she left Montgomery following her arrest, said he was "elated" over the vote.

"It shows Montgomery has changed," he said.

The Alabama Legislature this week approved a bill that sets up a process to pardon Parks and hundreds of others arrested for violating segregation-era laws.

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