October 25, 2005
Rosa Parks' refusal to give up her seat on a bus sparked the modern civil rights movement. Parks passed away last night at a Detroit hospital at the age of 92. Although she's gone, her memory is still very much alive.
It was 1955 when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a segregated bus. Now half a century later, people still remember her courage.
"I thought it was fantastic, it was tremendous courage," said Bill Dickie.
"Even though it was a small gesture, it certainly was an amazing one," said another man.
"It was such a simple thing, but it was such a momentous event," said Matthew Holden.
It was a momentous event because back then what Parks did was unheard of. Segregation laws were strict and punishments were harsh. Bill Dickie, a Scotland native, recalls in 1947 accidentally sitting in the back of a New Orleans bus.
"The bus driver wouldn't move and we didn't know what was wrong. And he said, 'you're in the wrong seats,'" said Dickie.
Dickie, who knew nothing about segregation, still remembers his reaction. "We just thought it was crazy and it wasn't right," he said.
So did Parks who could not have known she was about to make history.
"I don't think anybody could have seen that [result]," continued Holden.
Her actions helped catapult the Civil Rights movement.
"It was a big crack in the wall of legal segregation," said Holden.
"I actually look at her like a role model," said one woman.
She was a role model who would live to see her one wish come true.
"I'd like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free and wanted other people to be also free," said Rosa Parks before her death.
Rosa Parks' husband Raymond died back in 1977. Press is still waiting on word about funeral arrangements.