Receives Congressional Gold Medal

April 1999 -- Republican National Committee Chairman Jim Nicholson and Co-Chairman Patricia Harrison with the overwhelming support of the House and Senate recently presented Rosa Parks with the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor the United States can award to a private citizen.

Rosa Parks is credited with beginning the Modern Civil Rights Movement. It started in 1955, after a long day's work as a seamstress. Too tired for her usual walk home, that day she took the bus. When a white man got on and demanded her seat -- she didn't move. Both he and the bus driver were indignant at her "behavior." The driver threatened to call the police if she didn't give up her seat. She said, "Go ahead and call them." He did.

42 years old, and a respected member of the community, she was then arrested and fingerprinted. Her one phone call went to a NAACP attorney. Word spread fast and her refusal to give up her seat, led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Lasting 382 days, the civil rights movement ignited -- and spread throughout the land as other cities followed Montgomery's lead. Devoting her life to working for the betterment of the African American community, Rosa Parks is known as the Mother of the Civil Rights Movement.

The joint statement by Nicholson and Harrison follows:

"Rosa Parks richly deserves the Congressional Gold Medal. Mrs. Parks is a living symbol of the timeless virtues of grace, honor and courage. She stands as a reminder to all Americans that the flame of freedom requires constant attendance. The sacrifices of individuals like Rosa Parks are precious gifts to all of us. The courageous action of one individual, on one bus, four decades ago, sparked an era that reaffirmed America's principles and opened the door of liberty to millions. This award is a testament to the power of one person to affect dramatic change in society. We thank her for the lessons she has taught us."

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Receives Congressional Gold Medal Receives Congressional Gold Medal Reviewed by Mark Schadenberg on January 24, 2019 Rating: 5
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