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1188Rosa Parks dead at 92

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  • Greg Cannon
    Oct 24, 2005
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      US civil rights icon Parks dies

      Rosa Parks, the black woman whose 1955 protest action
      in Alabama marked the start of the modern US civil
      rights movement, has died at the age of 92.

      Mrs Parks' refusal to give up her seat to a white man
      on a bus led to a mass boycott of buses by black

      The protest led to the desegregation of the transport
      system and culminated in the 1964 Civil Rights Act,
      which outlawed race discrimination in the US.

      Mrs Parks' lawyer said she died in her sleep at her
      home in Detroit, Michigan.

      'I had a right'

      Rosa Parks was a 42-year-old seamstress when she made

      On 1 December she was sitting on the bus in Montgomery
      when the white man demanded her seat.

      Mrs Parks refused, defying the rules which required
      blacks to give up their seats to whites.

      She was arrested and fined $14.

      Her arrest triggered a 381-day boycott of the bus
      system organised by Baptist minister, the Rev Martin
      Luther King Jr.

      Luther King Jr later earned the Nobel Peace Prize for
      his work.

      In 1957, after having lost her job and received death
      threats, Mrs Parks and her husband, Raymond, moved to
      Detroit, where she worked as aide in a Democratic
      congressman's office.

      Speaking in 1992, Mrs Parks said of her famous bus
      protest: "The real reason of my not standing up was I
      felt that I had a right to be treated as any other
      passenger. We had endured that kind of treatment for
      too long."

      She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in
      1996, and the Congressional Gold Medal, the nation's
      highest civilian honour, three years later.
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