Alabama lawmakers last year voted to designate Dec. 1 as a day to honor the civil rights icon, Rosa Parks.
Parks, an African-American woman, was arrested after refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger on a segregated bus in Montgomery on Dec. 1, 1955. Her action ignited the yearlong Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped usher in the Civil Rights Movement.
The day is not a full-fledged state holiday where state offices close, but counties and municipalities can elect to observe Dec. 1 as a holiday. Bullock County Commission, City of Union Springs, and the Town of Midway elected to observe this day.
On Sunday, December 1, 2019 Bullock County Commissioner John McGowan attended the Rosa Parks Statue Dedication in downtown Montgomery, Alabama at the site where Parks refused to give up her seat.
Welcoming remarks were given by the Troy University Museum Director, Dr. Felicia Bell.
The invocation was given by Rev. Dr. Agnes M. Lover, St. Paul AME Church Lead Pastor. The prelude was given by St. Paul AME Church, FJ Duncombe Praise Singers.
Historical insights were given by Dr. Howard Robinson, Alabama State University Archivist and Mr. Loyd Howard, Montgomery Improvement Association Foundation President.
Greetings were given by the State of Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, Montgomery County Commission Chairman Elton Dean, and City of Montgomery Mayor Steven L. Reed.
Greetings were followed by the unveiling of the bronze statue of Rosa Parks.
Civil Rights Attorney Fred D. Gray, Rosa Parks’ attorney, was referenced throughout the ceremony for his representation of Mrs. Parks and others during the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
Numerous elected officials from Montgomery and across the state were in attendance including Representative Berry Forte and Court Specialist James Reid from the Bullock County Circuit Clerk’s office.