The Montgomery bus boycott was a large civil rights demonstration that prohibited African Americans from riding public buses in the city of Alabama as opposed to being segregated.

In view of the first mass demonstration against secession, the 381-day boycott began on December 5, 1955, just a day after Rosa Parks, a black woman, was fined and refused to leave her seat in front of the bus. got arrested. White traveler.

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The boycott ended on December 20, 1956, and the US Supreme Court ruled that segregation on public buses was unconstitutional.

Rosa Parks in a bus in 1956 in Montgomery, Ala.

Rosa Parks in a bus in 1956 in Montgomery, Ala.
(Getty Images)

The boycott was a defining moment in the civil rights movement and helped Martin Luther King Jr. and support his commitment to non-violent resistance in the news.

Read more about the events surrounding the boycott.

Rosa Parks was not the first African American to refuse to give up her seat

A 15-year-old girl, Claudette Colvin, was arrested on March 2, 1955, nine months before the park – for refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus. While black leaders in the city prepared to protest, they stopped Colvin after discovering she was pregnant and believed he was not a fit person for her cause, History.com.

In October of the same year, 18-year-old Mary Louise Smith, a Montgomery resident, was arrested and fined for refusing to give her bus seat to a white passenger.

On December 21, 1956, American civil rights activist Rosa Parks sits in front of a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, after the city bus system ruled illegal segregation.

On December 21, 1956, American civil rights activist Rosa Parks sits in front of a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, after the city bus system ruled illegal segregation.
(Getty Images)

How Park became a symbol of the movement is recounted in King’s memoir “Stride Toward Freedom”, in which he called her “the role model for her role assigned to him by history.” King Institute at Stanford University.

Parks’ character was impeccable and his dedication deeply rooted, “King wrote, noting that he was” one of the most respected people in the Negro community. ”

The boycott was only going to last a day

Eddie Nixon, president of the local NAACP, called for a one-day boycott of city buses on December 5, 1955, following Park’s arrest. African American riders made up about 75% of the bus system’s passengers.

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After receiving unexpected publicity in local newspapers, radio and television, 90% of black residents stayed away from buses that day.

American civil rights activist Rosa Parks (center in dark coat and hat) waits to board a bus at the end of the Montgomery bus boycott, Montgomery, Alabama, December 26, 1956.

American civil rights activist Rosa Parks (center in dark coat and hat) waits to board a bus at the end of the Montgomery bus boycott, Montgomery, Alabama, December 26, 1956.
((Photo by Don Kravans / Life Images Collection via Getty Images / Getty Images))

The unexpected success prompted leaders to lead the boycott indefinitely. According to the King Institute, it eventually lasted for 381 days, or about 13 months, until 201 1956.

Martin Luther King Jr. gets support

The success of the Montgomery bus boycott led to King’s election as president of the Montgomery Improvement Association, in the hope that it would unite members of the black community due to civil rights.

Raja and several other boycotters, however, were victims of retaliation for their involvement in the demonstration. The King’s house was bombed and arrested, tried and convicted under a law that interfered with legitimate business.

The bus boycott and the Kings trial received national media attention and resulted in more support from people outside Montgomery.