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Rosa Parks, civil rights icon, hailed by Obama

December 1, 2010 |  4:08 pm

Rosa Parks after her arrest in Montgomery Alabama

President Obama statement on the 55th anniversary of Montgomery Bus Boycott, as provided by the White House

Fifty-five years ago, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus – an act that challenged the moral conscience of an entire nation. 

The Montgomery Bus Boycott marked a turning point in American history – the moment where we began the march toward the Civil Rights Movement and the eventual outlawing of racial segregation and discrimination. 

Rosa Parks and the many other leaders and foot soldiers in that struggle for justice championed our founding principles of freedom and equality for all, and today, as we commemorate the anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, I encourage all Americans to honor their legacy – the legacy of Americans who marched bravely, worked tirelessly, and devoted their lives to the never-ending task of making our country a more perfect union.      ####

Photo: Gene Herrick / Associated Press (The late Rosa Parks after her arrest for refusing to relinquish her seat on a Montgomery bus).