Parks was arrested again in 1956 during the boycott.
Parks was arrested again in 1956 during the boycott.

A Holiday for Rosa Parks?

American lawmakers push to honor a Civil Rights activist.

Rosa Parks famously boarded a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. It was December 1, 1955, and the city’s buses were . Unfair laws made Black passengers ride at the back of the bus. But on this day, Parks took a stand — by sitting. When the front of the bus filled up, the driver told Parks to give her seat to a white passenger. Parks looked at him and said no.

Police arrested Parks for this act. But her bravery helped spark other protests, like the Montgomery bus , in which people stopped riding the city’s buses. Parks was also part of the U.S. civil rights movement, which fought to end segregation and unfair laws.

Now 68 years later, people still remember Parks’s act of defiance. Museums and textbooks tell the story. And there are statues of Parks in Montgomery and at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. Some lawmakers in D.C. want to do even more. They are trying to make December 1 a federal holiday called Rosa Parks Day.

There are 11 federal holidays across the United States. They include New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Christmas. Martin Luther King Jr. Day honors another civil rights hero. To make a new federal holiday, members of Congress must vote on the idea.

Terri Sewell is a lawmaker in the U.S. House of Representatives, one part of Congress. Earlier in the year, the leader from Alabama introduced a called H.R. 308, or the Rosa Parks Day Act. The bill is backed by more than 30 members of Congress. All of them are part of the Congressional Black Caucus, a group of Black leaders in Congress. If passed, the bill would create Rosa Parks Day. It would be the first U.S. federal holiday made to honor a woman.

However, there is a lot going on in Congress. It can take a long time for a bill to finally be voted on, and some bills never even make it to a vote. So, no one knows if Rosa Parks Day will become an official holiday. The lawmakers behind the idea aren’t giving up though. On November 29, some of them spoke out to get support.

Sewell spoke at the event outside of the Capitol. She said the holiday would make sure Rosa Parks’s “brave is never forgotten.” She added that Parks’s work was especially important for members of the Congressional Black Caucus. “We know that we can stand because Rosa sat,” Sewell said.

Sewell called Parks “a true American hero.” She said, “This is not just about Black history. It’s about American history.” The leader added, “I know that all of us, this whole nation, have benefited from the courage and bravery of this one woman who refused to give up her seat on a bus.”

Updated December 4, 2023, 5:03 P.M. (ET)
By Ashley Morgan

A Holiday for Rosa Parks?

American lawmakers push to honor a Civil Rights activist.

Parks was arrested again in 1956 during the boycott.
Parks was arrested again in 1956 during the boycott.

Rosa Parks famously boarded a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. It was December 1, 1955, and the city’s buses were . Unfair laws made Black passengers ride at the back of the bus. But on this day, Parks took a stand — by sitting. When the front of the bus filled up, the driver told Parks to give her seat to a white passenger. Parks looked at him and said no.

Police arrested Parks for this act. But her bravery helped spark other protests, like the Montgomery bus , in which people stopped riding the city’s buses. Parks was also part of the U.S. civil rights movement, which fought to end segregation and unfair laws.

Now 68 years later, people still remember Parks’s act of defiance. Museums and textbooks tell the story. And there are statues of Parks in Montgomery and at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. Some lawmakers in D.C. want to do even more. They are trying to make December 1 a federal holiday called Rosa Parks Day.

There are 11 federal holidays across the United States. They include New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Christmas. Martin Luther King Jr. Day honors another civil rights hero. To make a new federal holiday, members of Congress must vote on the idea.

Terri Sewell is a lawmaker in the U.S. House of Representatives, one part of Congress. Earlier in the year, the leader from Alabama introduced a called H.R. 308, or the Rosa Parks Day Act. The bill is backed by more than 30 members of Congress. All of them are part of the Congressional Black Caucus, a group of Black leaders in Congress. If passed, the bill would create Rosa Parks Day. It would be the first U.S. federal holiday made to honor a woman.

However, there is a lot going on in Congress. It can take a long time for a bill to finally be voted on, and some bills never even make it to a vote. So, no one knows if Rosa Parks Day will become an official holiday. The lawmakers behind the idea aren’t giving up though. On November 29, some of them spoke out to get support.

Sewell spoke at the event outside of the Capitol. She said the holiday would make sure Rosa Parks’s “brave is never forgotten.” She added that Parks’s work was especially important for members of the Congressional Black Caucus. “We know that we can stand because Rosa sat,” Sewell said.

Sewell called Parks “a true American hero.” She said, “This is not just about Black history. It’s about American history.” The leader added, “I know that all of us, this whole nation, have benefited from the courage and bravery of this one woman who refused to give up her seat on a bus.”

Updated December 4, 2023, 5:03 P.M. (ET)
By Ashley Morgan

Draw it AskRuss