1955 March 2

Nine Months Before Rosa Parks: Four African-American Women Challenge Discrimination on Montgomery, Alabama Bus


The day Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama city bus, December 1, 1955, is celebrated as one of the landmarks of the Civil Rights Movement. Her action sparked the famous Montgomery Bus Boycott, which began on December 5, 1955. The boycott, however, did not desegregate the buses. That was accomplished by a lawsuit that began nine months earlier, on this day, when four women — Claudette Colvin, Aurelia Browder, Susie McDonald and Mary Louise Smith — challenged segregation on the Montgomery buses. It was their case, Browder v. Gayle, in which a federal district court on June 13, 1956, and eventually the U.S. Supreme Court on December 17, 1956 , struck down segregation on the Montgomery buses.

Learn more about “The Women Before Rosa Parks”: http://www.tolerance.org/article/browder-v-gayle-women-rosa-parks

Read: Stewart Burns, Daybreak of Freedom: The Montgomery Bus Boycott (1997)

Learn more about Claudette Colvin: http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/index.php/encyclopedia/encyclopedia/enc_colvin_claudette_1939/

Watch a documentary on the Montgomery bus boycotthttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_VlnhfNQZE

Find a Day

Abortion Rights ACLU african-americans Alice Paul anti-communism Anti-Communist Hysteria Birth Control Brown v. Board of Education Censorship CIA Civil Rights Civil Rights Act of 1964 Cold War Espionage Act FBI First Amendment Fourteenth Amendment freedom of speech Free Speech Gay Rights Hate Speech homosexuality Hoover, J. Edgar HUAC Japanese American Internment King, Dr. Martin Luther Ku Klux Klan Labor Unions Lesbian and Gay Rights Loyalty Oaths McCarthy, Sen. Joe New York Times Obscenity Police Misconduct Same-Sex Marriage Separation of Church and State Sex Discrimination Smith Act Spying Spying on Americans Vietnam War Voting Rights Voting Rights Act of 1965 War on Terror Watergate White House Women's Rights Women's Suffrage World War I World War II Relocation Camps


Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear your comments, criticisms and suggestions!