Posted on December 7, 2023

US Lawmakers Push for Federal Holiday Honoring Rosa Parks on the Anniversary of Her Arrest

Rikki Klaus, CNN, December 1, 2023

On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks boarded a city bus after work in Montgomery, Alabama, and sat down.

As the bus filled with passengers, the driver demanded the 42-year-old seamstress move further back into the segregated Black section of the bus so a White man could have her seat.

Parks famously refused.

She was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. But that bold decision is widely credited with launching the Montgomery Bus Boycott and ultimately the Civil Rights Movement in the United States.

This week, members of the Congressional Black Caucus marked the 68th anniversary of Rosa Parks’ arrest by urging Congress to support a bill that would declare December 1, “Rosa Parks Day,” a federal holiday.

“This is not just about Black history. It’s about American history,” said Alabama Rep. Terri Sewell at a news conference Wednesday.

Sewell, a Democrat, introduced H.R. 308 which would establish the federal holiday, in January. The bill is backed by 31 co-sponsors, all of whom are members of the Congressional Black Caucus.


“Rosa Parks is a martyr for equality, an icon to all, a crusader for justice. And truly, she was a phenomenal Black woman whose legacy should be revered as a hero in American history books and well beyond our borders,” Ohio Rep. Joyce Beatty said at the news conference.