Bus Boycott Sparks Civil Rights Cause
Thirty Years Ago, on Dec. 1, 1955, a tired black seamstress refused to give her seat to a white man on a bus in Montgomery, Ala., and touched off a period of extraordinary change for black Americans. To protest Rosa Parks' arrest and the city's segregation ordinance, Montgomery's black community boycotted city buses for nearly a year. The non-violent boycott propelled its leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to national prominence and set the pattern for the civil rights demonstrations that would result in passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Those two laws guaranteed blacks access to public accommodations, voting booths and jobs. Other federal laws followed, barring discrimination in ...