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Obama marks 60th anniversary of Rosa Parks’s bus boycott

President Obama on Tuesday marked the 60th anniversary of Rosa Parks’s famous bus boycott, a seminal moment in the Civil Rights movement.

“Rosa Parks held no elected office. She was not born into wealth or power. Yet sixty years ago today, Rosa Parks changed America,” Obama said in a statement.

{mosads}Parks is widely credited for helping give birth to the movement in 1955, when she refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Ala.

Her action led to a widespread bus boycott that became a vehicle for ending Jim Crow laws in the South.

Obama said Parks’s refusal “was the simplest of gestures, but her grace, dignity, and refusal to tolerate injustice helped spark a Civil Rights Movement that spread across America.”

Obama, the United States’s first black president, has paid homage to Parks several times throughout his time in the White House.

He sat on the same bus where Parks triggered the boycott during a 2012 visit to the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit. Two years ago, he headlined the unveiling of a statue of Parks in the U.S. Capitol. 

Parks passed away in 2005.

“Like so many giants of her age, Rosa Parks is no longer with us. But her lifetime of activism — and her singular moment of courage — continue to inspire us today,” Obama said.

“Because Rosa Parks kept her seat, thousands of ordinary commuters walked instead of rode,” he continued. “Because they walked, countless other quiet heroes marched. Because they marched, our union is more perfect.”

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