On Tuesday, the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee approved a bill which designates December 1 as “Rosa Parks Day” in Alabama.
The bill, SB365, sponsored by Mobile-Democrat State Sen. Vivian Davis Figures, moves to the ful Senate.
Montgomery Police arrested Parks on Dec. 1, 1955 when she refused to give her seat to a white bus passenger. Parks’ arrest set the Montgomery Bus Boycott into motion, a boycott which is now seen as a catalyst for the Civil Rights Movement.
Parks received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal during her lifetime. She died in 2005, at the age of 92.
Rosa Parks Day is already celebrated on December 1 in Ohio and Oregon while California and Missouri celebrate the holiday on her birthday, February 4th.
However, the bill does not make the day a state holiday but gives counties and cities the option of declaring Dec. 1 a local holiday. Huntsville-Democrat Rep. Laura Hall, who filed a similar bill in the House last month, stated that in order to avoid debates over cost, they are not pushing to make the day a full state holiday.
According to the Montgomery Advertiser, Alabama officially recognizes 15 legal holidays, though six of them share a date with another one. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert E. Lee‘s birthday are observed on the same day in January. Presidents Day in the state marks the births of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Columbus Day, Fraternal Day, and American Indian Heritage Day are all celebrated on the same day in October.