Terri Sewell honors Rosa Parks, urges passage of bill to honor her with federal holiday

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A Montgomery, Ala., Sheriff’s Department booking photo of Rosa Parks taken Feb 22, 1956. [Photo Credit: AP Photo | Montgomery County (Ala.) Sheriff’s office]

Today, Rep. Terri Sewell spoke on the Floor of the House of Representatives to commemorate the 67th anniversary of the arrest of Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama when she refused to give up her seat on a city bus to a white man and was charged with violating Montgomery’s segregation law. Her arrest inspired the Montgomery Bus boycott – a significant turning point in the civil rights movement. She was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, and Congress recognized Rosa Parks as the “first lady of civil rights.”

On Twitter, Sewell wrote, “On this day in 1955, #RosaParks refused to give up her seat. Her dignified courage sparked the beginning of the Montgomery Bus Boycott and changed the very fabric of our nation. May we never forget the power of ordinary Americans to achieve extraordinary social change.”

Rep. Sewell stated, “On this day, December 1st, in 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, taking a bold stand against Montgomery’s segregated bus system. Her dignified courage sparked the beginning of the Montgomery bus boycott and changed the very fabric of our nation.”

Sewell urged legislators to pass H.R. 5111, the Rosa Parks Day Act.

“As the Representative of Alabama’s 7th Congressional District, I am proud to be an original co-sponsor of H.R. 5111, the Rosa Parks Day Act, which would designate today, December 1st, as a federal holiday in her honor. This bill would ensure that her brave sacrifice will live on in American history forever, and I urge my colleagues to sign on,” Sewell said.

In 2021, Tennessee Rep. Jim Cooper, along with Reps. Sewell and Joyce Beatty introduced the Rosa Parks Day Act, a bill to honor Parks by designating a new federal holiday. California and Missouri recognize Rosa Parks Day on her birthday, February 4. Ohio and Oregon celebrate the day she was arrested, December 1.