December 1 - 1955 - Rosa Parks Refuses to Give Up Her Seat to a White Passenger on a Montgomery City Bus

Officially under Jim Crow, when a bus began to fill up in Montgomery, Alabama and all over the South, black passengers were required to move to the back of the bus to allow white passengers to sit. Rosa Parks refused to do so on a Montgomery city bus and was subsequently arrested and charged with a crime. Parks was the Secretary of the local chapter of the NAACP and was the most recent in a series of African-Americans arrested for refusing to move to the back of a bus. So Parks' act sparked widespread outrage and immediate action, making the leaders of the black community form the Montgomery Improvement Association and launch a widespread boycott of Montgomery's bus service. The leader of the MIA was a young minister, new to town, named Martin Luther King, Jr. More broadly, the Montgomery Bus Boycott launched the Civil Rights Movement and launched King to national fame. Segregation on Montgomery buses would officially end after a Supreme Court case in December 1956, over a year after Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat.

William Floyd