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Rosa Parks

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1956 that segregation on common carrier buses was illegal. The decision was reached primarily because of a bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama that lasted over one year. Rosa Parks, (1913 - 2005), an African American seamstress, refused to surrender her seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery bus (December 1, 1955). Arrested for her act, Parks found justice in the end through the courts. In 1999, President Clinton presented her with the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor for a U.S. civilian.