Statue Of Civil Rights Icon Rosa Parks Unveiled At U.S. Capitol

Category: US Politics / Feb 27, 2013 3:56PM EDT
U.S. President Barack Obama paid tribute to civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks on Wednesday (February 27) during a ceremony unveiling her statue in the U.S. Capitol. Parks, who made history in 1955 when she refused to give up her seat on a public bus to a white man, was honored with the unveiling of a statue that is positioned beside famous American leaders. Her statue becomes the first of an African-American woman to be placed in Statuary Hall. Rosa Parks' refusal to give up her seat, and her arrest in segregated Montgomery, Alabama sparked a bus boycott that lasted more than a year, and was seen as a crucial accomplishment in lasting civil rights for minorities in the United States. Obama spoke of Parks' courage to stand up for change. "She lived a life of activism, but also a life of dignity and grace. And in a single moment, with the simplest of gestures, she helped change America -- and change the world," Obama told the audience. He added, "Rosa Parks' singular act of disobedience launched a movement. The tired feet of those who walked the dusty roads of Montgomery helped a nation see that to which it had once been blind. It is because of these men and women that I stand here today. It is because of them that our children grow up in a land more free and more fair; a land truer to its founding creed." The bronze statue of Parks stands 9 feet tall (2.7 meters) now takes its place among 100 statues in the U.S. Capitol. Parks, who would have turned 100 years old earlier this month died in October of 2005. (Video Source: Reuters)