Sunday, January 20, 2008

BUS STORY # 68 (Special Birthday Of Martin Luther King, Jr., Edition: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., And The Woman Who Rode The Bus)

Monday is a holiday celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the universally acknowledged leader of the modern civil rights movement here in the United States. From this blog’s perspective, it is noteworthy that the universally acknowledged catalyst for that movement began on a bus. Here’s the story:

Most historians date the beginning of the modern civil rights movement in the United States to December 1, 1955. That was the day when an unknown seamstress in Montgomery, Alabama refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger. This brave woman, Rosa Parks, was arrested and fined for violating a city ordinance, but her lonely act of defiance began a movement that ended legal segregation in America, and made her an inspiration to freedom-loving people everywhere . . .

The bus incident led to the formation of the Montgomery Improvement Association, led by the young pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The association called for a boycott of the city-owned bus company. The boycott lasted 382 days and brought Mrs. Parks, Dr. King, and their cause to the attention of the world. A Supreme Court Decision struck down the Montgomery ordinance under which Mrs. Parks had been fined, and outlawed racial segregation on public transportation.

(Excerpted from the website for the Academy of American Achievement: A Museum Of Living History. Read the entire article at:

The photograph at the beginning of this entry is also from the Academy of American Achievement website.)

A final bus note: Although Federal, New Mexico and Albuquerque/Bernalillo County government entities observe the holiday, it will be work as usual for a number of employees in the private sector. Which means the reduced holiday bus schedule will have many bus riders driving to work as part of their celebration.


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