Civil Rights Pioneer Rosa Parks Dies

Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks, the woman known as the "mother of the civil rights movement," Oct. 24, 2005. She was 92. Reuters hide caption

itoggle caption Reuters

Rosa Parks, the woman known as the "mother of the civil rights movement," has died. Parks turned the course of American history by refusing in 1955 to give up her seat on a bus for a white man.

In 1992, when former president Bill Clinton presented Parks with the Congressional Gold Medal, he said her short bus ride went a long way for civil rights.

Born Rosa Louise McCauley on Feb. 4, 1913, she married Raymond Parks in 1932. By the early 1950s, Rosa Parks and her now deceased husband were long-time activists in Montgomery Alabama's chapter of the NAACP.

Parks worked as a seamstress at a local department store, and on her way home from work one day, she engaged in a simple gesture of defiance that galvanized the civil rights movement. It was nearly 50 years ago, Dec. 1, 1955, when Parks challenged the South’s Jim Crow laws — and Montgomery's segregated bus seating policy — by refusing to get up and give her seat to a white passenger.

Parks died Monday evening at her home. She was 92.

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