More than a decade after her death, the Alabama Legislature has voted to honor civil rights icon Rosa Parks with a holiday.
Last week, the Alabama House voted 120-0 to establish Mrs. Rosa L. Parks Day. Though it’s not an official state holiday that would automatically prompt closures of Alabama’s offices and facilities, counties and municipalities across the state can elect to observe the holiday on December 1, the day Parks was arrested in 1955 for refusing to give up her seat on a bus.
The move to honor Parks was led by two Black state legislators— representative Laura Hall and Senator Vivian Figures, who introduced the bill in both of Alabama’s chambers.
After passing the measure, Alabama will become the fifth state to honor Parks with a holiday. Ohio and Oregon celebrate Rosa Parks Day on Dec. 1, while California and Missouri remember the hero on her birthday, February 4.
A dedicated member of the NAACP, Parks’ planned act of civil disobedience led to the Montgomery bus boycott, and ultimately the desegregation of buses in the city.
The bill has now been passed to Alabama’s governor, Kay Ivey, to be signed into law.