US Stamps

By Michael Baadke

Born Feb. 4: Rosa Parks

February 04, 2015 05:55 AM

  • Civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks was honored on a United States forever stamp issued Feb. 4, 2013, marking her 100th birthday.

Rosa Parks was born Rosa Louise McCauley in Tuskegee, Ala., on Feb. 4, 1913.

She married barber Raymond Parks in 1932 and attended college in Montgomery, Ala., in the 1930s. In 1943 she became a secretary of the Montgomery NAACP, and began working as a seamstress just a few years later.

Sitting in a segregated Montgomery city bus on Dec. 1, 1955, Parks was told by the driver to vacate her seat for a newly boarded white male passenger. She quietly refused, and subsequently was arrested for violating the segregation laws then in force.

Convicted days later, Parks became a symbol for those opposing the unjust laws, and a successful boycott of the Montgomery bus system began, led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Often identified as the "Mother of the Civil Rights Movement," Parks continued to work as a civil rights activist for many years. She died at age 92 in Detroit, Mich., on Oct. 24, 2005.

A United States forever stamp honoring Rosa Parks was issued on her birthday in 2013 (Scott 4742). The stamp design shows a portrait of Parks painted in gouache on illustration board by Thomas Blackshear II.