Rosa Parks: The 100th anniversary of her birth

Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn, Mich, April 18, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)


– – – – – – –



On December 1, 1955, our Nation was forever transformed when an African-American seamstress in Montgomery, Alabama, refused to give up her seat on a city bus to a white passenger. Just wanting to get home after a long day at work, Rosa Parks may not have been planning to make history, but her defiance spurred a movement that advanced our journey toward justice and equality for all.

Though Rosa Parks was not the first to confront the injustice of segregation laws, her courageous act of civil disobedience sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott — 381 days of peaceful protest when ordinary men, women, and children sent the extraordinary message that second-class citizenship was unacceptable. Rather than ride in the back of buses, families and friends walked. Neighborhoods and churches formed carpools. Their actions stirred the conscience of Americans of every background, and their resilience in the face of fierce violence and intimidation ultimately led to the desegregation of public transportation systems across our country.

Rosa Parks’s story did not end with the boycott she inspired. A lifelong champion of civil rights, she continued to give voice to the poor and the marginalized among us until her passing on October 24, 2005.

As we mark the 100th anniversary of Rosa Parks’s birth, we celebrate the life of a genuine American hero and remind ourselves that although the principle of equality has always been self-evident, it has never been self-executing. It has taken acts of courage from generations of fearless and hopeful Americans to make our country more just. As heirs to the progress won by those who came before us, let us pledge not only to honor their legacy, but also to take up their cause of perfecting our Union.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim February 4, 2013, as the 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Rosa Parks. I call upon all Americans to observe this day with appropriate service, community, and education programs to honor Rosa Parks’s enduring legacy.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of February, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.





118 Responses to “Rosa Parks: The 100th anniversary of her birth”

  1. 1 carolmaewy
    February 1, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    Happy birthday Rosa!

  2. 21 yardarm756
    February 1, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    Damn. My faucets are running again.

  3. February 1, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    The action in this photo taken of the President is one of the most affirming acts of civil rights history. To look at it says a few simple words about Rosa Park….what you did for all of us can never be repaid but we must continue to move forward.

    • February 1, 2013 at 5:50 pm

      It really is quite stunning to see that in a generation, we could go from denying a hard working woman the dignity of a seat on a bus, to re-electing an entirely worthy man as President – who happens to be black. Stunning.

  4. 27 Bill R.
    February 1, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    I thought the committee vote on Hagel was going to happen today.

  5. February 1, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    just got home from work. Anything happen in the committee for the confirmation of Former Senator Chuck Hagel? I fully support his nomination. Turned on Martins show to see a bunch of Hillary supporters killing Senator Mendez. Lost me and turned it off. Oh, if anyone wants the skinny about Rivera let me know. I have know is son born out of wed lock since he was in my camp as a 6 year old.

    • 31 proudmemberofglobalzero
      February 1, 2013 at 5:16 pm

      Also called my Senators….Rubio is a “No” on this confirmation and Bill Nelson is a yes.

  6. February 1, 2013 at 5:18 pm

  7. 34 utaustinliberal
    February 1, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    I see the Chelsea bashing continues. Well, when you’re the best team ever, inferior teams (Man United cheaters and losers) and inferior fans (from inferior colleges that are nowhere near the brilliance of UT Austin —–> Chipsticks and Japa) will always be jealous.

    As they say: “Haters gonna hate.”

  8. 36 carolmaewy
    February 1, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    Something else happened on this day:
    ‎”At 4:30 pm on this day in 1960, Ezell Blair Jr., David Richmond, Joseph McNeill, and Franklin McCain, all students at A&T University, sat down at a segregated lunch counter in a Greensboro Woolworth’s store. They ordered coffee and stayed in their seats, despite being refused service, until the store closed.

    “5 days later, over 500 students filled that store and others in downtown Greensboro. From there the sit-ins spread across the state and across the South, transforming the Civil Rights movement. Think about those four young men today as you drink your coffee. We owe them much.”

    Thank you to all of the pioneers that led the way. -Debra

    Via Highlander Center

    • 37 theo67
      February 1, 2013 at 5:54 pm

      These simple acts that ignited a movement for actual freedom (not the faux-freedom espoused by the tea party and right wing nuts) took real courage. Imagine sitting in that seat, despite rabid men maybe pushing you, hitting you, calling you names, threatening you with violence – and knowing all the while that there were no laws or law enforcers who would protect you if push actually came to shove, or worse. That was real courage. And I think that realization is what helps President Obama endure what he has to endure on a daily basis. Some had it worse, far worse.

      • 38 carolmaewy
        February 1, 2013 at 6:09 pm

        Yes, they were very courageous and so is Pres. Obama.

      • 39 jacquelineoboomer
        February 1, 2013 at 8:05 pm

        Well said, theo67. Looking deep, would any of us today have been as courageous? I don’t think I could have done it.

        • 40 theo67
          February 1, 2013 at 8:19 pm

          I don’t think I would have had the courage to do it, either,but you never know. There’s a quote from “Twelfth Night” from Shakespeare: “Don’t be afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them”.

          I guess you answer the call when it comes, and these people answered it beautifully!

  9. 50 Linda
    February 1, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Secret Service Chief Sullivan is retiring after 30 years of service.

  10. 51 Roberta in MN
    February 1, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    This whole shit on Hillary running 2016 is so damned bogus. I know there are some here that like her, I do too, but this is getting ridiculous all this talk. I gave up cable today so, I will have piece of mind for awhile. 🙂 Just doing the computer stuff and have a Roku. Like that.

    Good Evening Chips and Tod’ers.

    • February 1, 2013 at 5:38 pm

      It’s because she is all over the news due to stepping down from the SoS and prior to that the Benghazi hearings. Once the media finds a “new” shiny object to focus on in the next two weeks like the bombing today and what will Kerry do? Tfhere is also the Chuck Hagel vote they will make a big deal about that. Hillary will be old news and media will move onto someone else…bank on it.

      • 53 Roberta in MN
        February 1, 2013 at 5:42 pm

        I hope you are right. I really don’t think she is going to run in 2016. I would have a hard time working for her and voting for her after what she did in the 2007 primaries. POUTUS may have forgiven her, but a lot of his workers on the ground didn’t.

        • 54 99ts
          February 1, 2013 at 7:55 pm

          I don’t think she will run – the GOP so wants it to happen so they can throw all their hate against the Clintons.

  11. 55 utaustinliberal
    February 1, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    EARLY HEADS UP: The NAACP Image Awards is on tonight on NBC at 8PM ET / 7PM CT and for Scandal fans, Kerry Washington will be receiving a tribute or a very important award so tune in!

  12. 56 Alycee (@jazziz2)
    February 1, 2013 at 5:41 pm

  13. February 1, 2013 at 5:57 pm

  14. 63 Linda
    February 1, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    I just received my purchases from the Inauguration Store.

    The paperweight is beautiful….


    • 64 hopefruit2
      February 1, 2013 at 6:14 pm

      If you don’t mind Linda could you tell me when you ordered them? I’m still waiting for some purchases…

      • 65 Linda
        February 1, 2013 at 6:21 pm

        I really don’t remember…but several weeks ago for sure.

        I am still waiting for a couple items though.

        • 66 hopefruit2
          February 1, 2013 at 7:23 pm

          Okay, thanks. I ordered several weeks ago as well. They don’t send you a shipping notice or tracking #. Anyway I shall wait and be patient. They must be overwhelmed with orders.

    • 67 carolyn
      February 1, 2013 at 6:15 pm

      I got mine today too. Also bought the beautiful paperweight. It will be a gift for my son this coming Christmas….that’s the earliest I’ve ever shopped! In a separate order I have the frame for my invitation coming. I don’t know why I didn’t order it at the same time as the other stuff.

    • 69 Alycee (@jazziz2)
      February 1, 2013 at 6:18 pm

      Waaaaaaaaaaaa — I still haven’t received ANY of my purchases! :mrgreen:

  15. 70 dotster3
    February 1, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    Rev. Al reporting that Repubs have vowed to block Richard Cordrey from his appt. to head Consumer Protection Bureau, saying he would have too much power over the banks. Yes, poor banks. More foolish obstruction from the Repubs, playing games, trying to obstruct PBO’s agenda. So far, it all seems to be backfiring on them.

    • 71 theo67
      February 1, 2013 at 6:10 pm

      I’m so tired of Republican nonsense. It’s so destructive. Are people wising up to the fact that these people are actually dangerous to the country’s future and prosperity? Richard Cordrey has done a quietly fantastic job so far. I want him to stay there and work with the new SEC chief to sort these banksters out.

      • February 1, 2013 at 6:17 pm

        President Obama will just reappoint him via recess in early 2014 if necessary, I have no doubt.

        PBO just keeps pushing the Republicans buttons and they keep responding exactly in their own worst interest – by appearing ever more deranged and totally subservient to the rich and the pack of lunatics that now comprise the only ‘base’ they’ve got. Pierce and others are correct – the President is substantively dismantling the GOP.

        Yes We Can


    • 74 prettyfoot58
      February 1, 2013 at 6:18 pm

      toooooooo much power…over the Banksssss….yeahhh the American People will be soooooo sorry about that! 🙄

  16. February 1, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    CBS has removed the story about PBO calling Hadiyah Pendleton’s family, wonder why??


  17. 82 Dakota
    February 1, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    Happy Birthday Sister Rosa.

    Thank you Miss Rosa

    You were the spark,

    Started our freedom movement

    Thank you Sister Rosa Parks!

  18. 89 dotster3
    February 1, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    Il. R. Sen. Mark Kirk announces he will not support the nomination of Hagel. He’s not tough enough on Iran, said Kirk. “We want war! We want war!”

  19. February 1, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    Beautiful woman, strong woman…so thankful for her bravery.

  20. 94 prettyfoot58
    February 1, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    Scott Brown is not running for Sen Kerry seat…hmmm is he waiting for Gov Deval’s seat instead..

    • 95 theo67
      February 1, 2013 at 6:28 pm

      The people of Massachusetts better get their heads screwed on straight.

    • 96 Asher in Boston
      February 1, 2013 at 6:41 pm

      No way in hell is scott brown going to occupy our wonderful Gov. Deval Patrick’s seat. It really hurt like crazy when people stayed home and scott waltzed his way to the senate. We are going to work our best to put a Dem, Rep. Markey in the senate and work extra hard for a Dem for Governor. 2010 was a difficult year for dems as we all know and Gov. patrick had to pull out all the stops to stop republican baker. It was a hard fought re-election. What also helped Gov. Deval in the end was the unexpected turn out of the New immigrants, Hatians and Africans. The Governor and his people were so smart and worked hard for this vote and he showed up in cities like Waltham to court this vote and it payed off. And we are going to do this again coz what we have learnt is that every vote counts no matter how small it might look. In the end it tilts the vote count.

  21. February 1, 2013 at 6:29 pm

  22. 101 Dakota
    February 1, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    I know this was reported earlier. The drop in the African American unemployment rate is worth noting.


  23. 102 carolyn
    February 1, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Has Hillary truly left the building? I want the new SOS Kerry to have his chance. The idolatry of Hillary is somewhat over the top by now.
    This situation reminds me of Colin Firth’s line in The King’s Speech. He said that every other British monarch succeeded a dead king or queen, but he is succeeding a still popular living brother. Very difficult for him.
    This will be difficult for Kerry too, for at least a while. Martha Raddatz is just now talking about the embassy attack on “Hillary’s last day.” She just said Kerry has been tracking this all day. Fortunately, Kerry is strong and knows what he’s about. Will he be going to Turkey, I wonder. I read that one of his first orders will be about embassy security.
    Get that horrible House to do their job and provide money for security.

    • 103 theo67
      February 1, 2013 at 6:45 pm

      I agree with what someone posted earlier that the world will move on in a couple of weeks to a new topic. Hillary is going to be out of the limelight, writing her books and taking her walks. And taking a very well-deserved rest. Meanwhile, Secretary Kerry will be travelling the world, dealing with every day issues.

      It’s interesting that the media didn’t cover most of Hillary’s actual travels and speeches and doings when she was Secretary of State. Her website is filled with tales of her journeys and work. If you were to ask people what she did and where she went – the most you’ll get is that she travelled nealry one million miles. Where, why, what she did? Clueless. We’ll probably only hear about Kerry when there’s something that is harmful to the President to report.

      Kerry was ready to be President. He’s been in the Senate for ages – he knows the work that’s waiting for him. I think he’s going to make his own mark, in his own style – and he’ll be fantastic and serve the President well. I wish him good luck!

      • 104 99ts
        February 1, 2013 at 8:01 pm

        As they don’t cover the President’s travels. The media seems so fixated on elections, what happens in between them is irrelevant.

        • 105 theo67
          February 1, 2013 at 8:03 pm

          One can only wonder what they think elections are for?

        • 106 nathkatun7
          February 1, 2013 at 10:29 pm

          Obviously I am not that familiar with the state of the media in other countries. All I know is that the vast majority of U.S. mainstream media are now barely indistinguishable from tabloids. Most of the so called mainstream U.S. media are only interested in sensationalism and hyped horse races in elections. It’s only on rare occasions that the MS media gets to cover news that have any real impact on ordinary people. It’s no wonder our media are in love with Republican politicians, like John McCain and Lindsey Graham. Both of these politicians love sensational stories that are focused on attacking the President. To this day, I just can’t think of any meaningful legislations (other than McCain/Feingold campaign finance reform, which McCain eventually disavowed) that have been introduced by Graham or McCain that have had a real impact on ordinary people. Yet, every Sunday morning, these two can be counted on to be the MSM invited guests on the supposedly major Sunday “news” shows, where they routinely allowed, and encouraged to spew their outrage about this or that that President Obama has allegedly done, or failed to do.

  24. February 1, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    Watching 30 Rock on Hulu – Nancy Pelosi was cute!

  25. February 1, 2013 at 6:42 pm

  26. 109 Pamela
    February 1, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    Yo! Y’all! Is it teatime yet? (please say yes….)

  27. 112 desertflower
    February 1, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    Techy question please. What’s the best browser to use and why? Been having trouble commenting on a site I used to comment on all the time and we can’t figure out why. The man that runs the blog suggests that I change my browser….since I don’t want to mess up anything ELSE I might do, like begin to have problems HERE for instance, how do I do this? Can I just open a new browser if I want to comment there and then return to my normal browser for everything else I do??
    Help!! Help!! Help!! Thanks 🙂

    • 113 99ts
      February 1, 2013 at 8:03 pm

      df – I use mozilla firefox – and also have IE open sometimes as well – so you should be able to do as you want.

  28. 114 Nena20409
    February 1, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    Great 100th birthday for Ms. Rosa Parks, thank Chips. RIP Ms. Parks.

  29. 115 anniebella
    February 1, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    Happy Birthday to some one who was a brave soul to do what she did. Thank alot for Mrs. Parks did.

  30. February 1, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    The US Post Office is issuing a Rosa Parks Forever Stamp!!!

  31. 117 Gazelle
    February 2, 2013 at 2:08 am

    Chips, testing via my phone

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