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On this day in 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested for breaching Montgomery, Alabama’s city segregation laws

December 1, 2025

On this day in 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to surrender her seat on a public bus to a white man, a breach of city segregation laws. The incident resulted in a year-long boycott of the Montgomery, Alabama bus system and increased nationwide awareness of racial discrimination.

Nearly a year later, the boycott ended as the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Montgomery’s bus segregation laws as a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. The case stood as an early victory in the civil rights movement and a testament to the power of civil disobedience.

Did you know? Parks was jailed again weeks later for arranging carpools during the boycott. A jury cited a state law against organized boycotting. The arrest brought more publicity to the boycott, however, as The New York Times ran a front-page photo of her being fingerprinted by police.

 

 

Rosa Parks being fingerprinted on February 22, 1956, Associated Press, February 22, 1956

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December 1, 2025
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