Art of Transit: Rosa Parks edition

Photo: Library of Congress.

Rosa Parks being arrested for refusing to surrender her seat on a Montgomery, Ala., bus in 1955. Photo: Library of Congress.

Today is the 100th birthday of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks, who in December 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, reused to abide by the local bus company’s rules and surrender her seat to a white passenger.

Parks died in 2005 but her stand that day triggered the Montgomery bus boycott and, the next year, a Supreme Court ruling that upheld that segregation and discrimination on Montgomery buses violated the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The bus in which Rosa Parks made her famous stand is now on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit. Below is the now famous photo of President Obama’s visit to the bus last spring. I especially like what he told the media about his few minutes aboard the bus:

“I just sat in there for a moment and pondered the courage and tenacity that is part of our very recent history but is also part of that long line of folks who sometimes are nameless, oftentimes didn’t make the history books, but who constantly insisted on their dignity, their share of the American dream,” the president said.

Photo: White House.

Photo: White House.