The Passing of Rosa Parks
On October 30, 2005 President George W. Bush issued a Proclamation regarding the passing of civil rights leader Rosa Parks.
— A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America
As a mark of respect for the memory of Rosa Parks, I hereby order, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, that on the day of her interment, the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset on such day. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same period at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirtieth.
GEORGE W. BUSH
Photo:President George W. Bush and Laura Bush present the Executive Branch Wreath during a wreath-laying ceremony in honor of Rosa Parks, in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Sunday Oct. 30, 2005.
-from the George W. Bush Library
On December 1, 1955, during a typical evening rush hour in Montgomery, Alabama, a 42 year-old woman took a seat near the front of the bus (illustrated in this diagram) on her way home from the Montgomery Fair department store where she worked as a seamstress. Before she reached her destination, she quietly set off a social revolution when the bus driver instructed her to move, and she refused. The bus driver called the police and they arrested Rosa Parks, an African American woman of unchallenged character.
The African-American community of Montgomery organized a boycott of the buses in protest of the discriminating treatment they had endured for years. The boycott, under the leadership of 26-year-old minister Martin Luther King, Jr., was a peaceful, coordinated protest that lasted 381 days and captured world attention.