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Montgomery Bus Boycott: 1955 - 1956

Click image for link to the Montgomery Bus Boycott website

The Montgomery Bus Boycott and Desegregation, by John Fuller. Rosa Parks, center, one of the most famous figures from the civil rights movement, helped spark the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Don Cravens/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images

ABA Journal: Institute Claims Rosa Parks’ Estate Drained by Fees for Lawyers Who Also Got Licensing Rights (July 21, 2011)

Link to The King Center The Bus Boycott Sparks a Movement
Rosa Parks, booking photo

Montgomery Bus Boycott

The Montgomery Bus Boycott was a political and social protest campaign that started in 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, United States, intended to oppose the city's policy of racial segregation on its public transit system. Many important figures in the civil rights movement were involved in the boycott, including Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., Ralph Abernathy, and others, as listed below.

Rosa Parks, fingerprinted

The boycott caused crippling financial deficit for the Montgomery public transit system, because the city's black population who were the principal boycotters were also the bulk of the system's paying customers. The campaign lasted from December 1, 1955, when Rosa Parks, an African American woman, was arrested for refusing to surrender her seat to a white person, to December 20, 1956, when a federal ruling, Browder v. Gayle, took effect, and led to a United States Supreme Court decision that declared the Alabama and Montgomery laws requiring segregated buses to be unconstitutional. Read more

Alabama deputy discovers civil rights era artifacts

MSNBC/Associated Press
July 23, 2004

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - A sheriff’s deputy who was cleaning a basement storage room stumbled upon a box containing a trove of artifacts from the civil rights era, including black-and-white mug shots of Rosa Parks and a young Martin Luther King Jr.

Historians called the discovery a significant find that provides a one-of-a-kind time capsule into the early days of the civil rights struggle. The 1956 mug shot of King after being arrested in the historic Montgomery bus boycott could be a record of his very first arrest, said Horace Huntley, director of the Oral History Project at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.

"I think that is a tremendous find," Huntley said. "It gives us a window to the past that we absolutely would not see otherwise." Read more