Today In History Spotlights Dec. 1, 1955, Rosa Parks

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Today’s History Spotlight

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Rosa Parks refuses to surrender her bus seat in Montgomery, Alabama. During the Jim Crow Era, most buses, restaurants, restrooms, schools, theaters, and housing districts were racially segregated, especially in the Deep South. As Parks boarded the bus in Montgomery, she sat just inside the Colored “section.” When three White men boarded at Empire Theater, one of them – James Blake – realized that the “White section” was full, Blake moved the Colored sign to the seat behind Parks, and demanded that she move.

Parks relocated to the window, but not to the newly-designated Colored section. Parks was arrested and her stand fueled support for the Montgomery Bus Boycotts. Parks fought racism in both the Southern and Northern states, and she became an icon for freedom and justice. She passed away on October 24, 2004, and was the first woman to lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda.

What Happened On This Day – December 1

  • 2009 Treaty of Lisbon comes into force. The Treaty of Lisbon, which amended the two treaties – the Maastricht Treaty and the Treaty of Rome – that form the constitutional basis of the European Union came into force after being signed by 13 countries in 2007.
  • 1958 French colony of Ubangi-Shari gains autonomy. The French colony of Ubangi-Shari, now known as the Central African Republic, gained autonomy from France. 2 years later, the country became independent and adopted its current name.
  • 1943 Tehran Conference ends. The Tehran Conference between the US, the UK, and the Soviet Union ended with the three countries deciding to open up a second front against Germany in France, and the Soviet Union agreeing to declare war against Japan.
  • 1919 Nancy Astor becomes to the first woman to join the British House of Commons. Nancy Witcher Langhorne also known as Nancy Astor became the first woman to join the British House of Commons.
  • 1918 Kingdom of Iceland established. The Kingdom of Iceland was established with the signing of the Act of Union with Denmark. The act recognized Iceland as a sovereign state under a common monarch with Denmark, and the Kingdom lasted until 1944 when a national referendum created the Republic of Iceland.

Births On This Day – December 1

  • 1970 Sarah Silverman – American comedian, actress, singer
  • 1949 Pablo Escobar – Colombian drug lord
  • 1945 Bette Midler – American singer-songwriter, producer, actress
  • 1935 Woody Allen – American screenwriter, director, actor
  • 1896 Georgy Zhukov – Russian general

Deaths On This Day – December 1

  • 2012 Mitchell Cole – English footballer
  • 1973 David Ben-Gurion – Israeli politician, 1st Prime Minister of Israel
  • 1947 Aleister Crowley – English magician, author
  • 1825 Alexander I of Russia
  • 1135 Henry I of England

The sections “What Happened On This Day,” “Births On This Day,” and “Deaths On This Day” originally appeared at and is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Garrett Smith
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