First seat on each GRTC bus reserved Thursday for civil rights activist Rosa Parks

8News file photos from last year's celebration of Rosa Parks

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — GRTC is hosting a special tribute to Rosa Parks on Thursday in celebration of both her birthday and Black History Month.

Rosa Parks was born on February 4, 1913 in Alabama. She passed away at age 92 on October 24, 2005 in Detroit, Michigan, becoming the first woman in American history to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol.

Parks is most well-known for her famous act of defiance that changed the course of history. Parks refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery, Alabama bus on December 1, 1955. She was arrested and fined. Four days later, in response to Rosa’s arrest, a year-long bus boycott began. It ended after the Supreme Court ruled that segregation on public transportation was illegal.

Parks, the “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement,” will be honored by GRTC by reserving the first passenger seat on every GRTC bus on her birthday.

“Each of these seats will have a commemorative sign displayed on them, honoring both Ms. Parks’ legacy and her dedication to the Civil Rights Movement,” GRTC officials said in a press release. “Operators will keep bus headlights on all day to represent her light, and the bus electronic header signs will rotate with a special message honoring Rosa Parks.”

This tribute has become a tradition held by GRTC each year. Here’s video from our coverage of this story in 2015:

GRTC is also honoring other local Black History-Makers each week during Black History Month. The following names will be displayed on bus destination header signs in February:

First Week: “GRTC Honors Arthur Ashe”
Second Week: “GRTC Honors Bill Bojangles Robinson”
Third Week: “GRTC Honors Douglas Wilder”
Fourth Week: “GRTC Honors Blair Underwood”

Go to our Celebrating Our Black History section for additional coverage.

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