Congressman Jim Cooper (D-TN), along with Congressional Black Caucus Chair Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH) and Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL), introduced last week the Rosa Parks Day Act (HR 5111).
If passed, the bill would honor civil rights leader Rosa Parks by designating a new federal holiday.
In December 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama, for refusing to give up her seat on a city bus to a white man and was charged with violating Montgomery’s segregation law. Congress honored her as “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement”.
The holiday would be on December 1, according to a press release from Cooper, which is the date Parks was arrested.
“Through her willingness to sit, Rosa Parks stood up for what she believed in,” Rep. Joyce Beatty said. “As a state legislator, I was proud to lead the push to make the Buckeye State the first state to officially recognize Rosa Parks Day. It’s now time for us to come together as a nation to honor this American hero through a new national holiday.”
“On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks sat so that this nation could stand up for the values that our democracy holds so dear,” said Rep. Sewell. “Her quiet, dignified courage helped inspire a civil rights movement that changed this country for the better. As the U.S. Representative for Montgomery, I’m so proud to introduce the Rosa Parks Day Act to make December 1st a national holiday in her honor. Such a day will ensure the memory of her brave sacrifice lives on in America’s story for generations to come.”
Below is the Office of Personnel Management’s list of 2021 federal holidays: