(Senate - October 25, 2005)

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[Pages S11846-S11850]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                         PASSING OF ROSA PARKS

  Mr. FRIST. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate 
proceed to the immediate consideration of S. Res. 287, submitted 
earlier today.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the resolution by title.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       A resolution (S. Res. 287) honoring the life of and 
     expressing the condolences of the Senate on the passing of 
     Rosa Parks.

  There being no objection, the Senate proceeded to consider the 
  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, last evening, we lost Rosa Parks. She died 
at the age of 92. Her personal bravery and self-sacrifice have shaped 
this Nation's history and she is remembered with reverence and respect 
by us all.
  A half century ago, Rosa Parks, the black seamstress whose refusal to 
give up her seat on a Montgomery, AL bus to a white man sparked a 
revolution in American race relations. Rosa Parks decided that she 
would no longer tolerate the humiliation and demoralization of racial 
segregation on a bus. In her own words, Rosa Parks said, ``People 
always say that I didn't give up my seat because I was tired, but that 
isn't true. I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually 
was at the end of a working day. I was not old, although some people 
have an image of me as being old then. I was forty-two. No, the only 
tired I was, was tired of giving in.''
  The strength and spirit of this courageous woman captured the 
consciousness of not only the American people but the entire world. 
Rosa Parks's arrest for violating the city's segregation laws was the 
catalyst for the Montgomery bus, boycott. Her stand on that December 
day in 1955 was not an isolated incident but part of a lifetime of 
struggle for equality and justice. Twelve years earlier, in 1943, Rosa 
Parks had been arrested for violating another one of the city's bus 
related segregation laws requiring blacks to pay their fares at the 
front of the bus, then get off of the bus and reboard from the rear of 
the bus. The driver of that bus, was the same driver with whom she 
would have her confrontation years later.
  The rest is history; the boycott which Rosa Parks began was the 
beginning of an American revolution that elevated that status of 
African Americans nationwide and introduced to the world a young leader 
who would one day have a national holiday declared in his honor, the 
Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.
  For her personal bravery and self-sacrifice, in 1999, we honored Rosa 
Parks with the Congressional Gold Medal.
  My home State of Michigan proudly claims Rosa Parks as one of our 
own. Rosa Parks and her husband Raymond made the journey to Detroit in 
1957 where Rosa Parks's brother resided. In the years since, she 
continued to dedicate her life to advancing equal opportunity and to 
educating our youth about the past struggles for freedom, from slavery 
up to the civil rights movement of the 1960s.
  In 1987, the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development 
was established. Its primary focus has been working with young people 
from across the country and the world as part of the ``Pathways to 
Freedom'' program. The pathways program traces history from the days of 
the underground railroad to the civil rights movement of the 1960s and 
beyond. Through this institute, young people, ages 11 to 17, meet with 
national leaders and participate in a variety of educational and 
research projects. During the summer months, they have the opportunity 
to travel across the country visiting historical sites.
  The Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development has 
expanded to include an intergenerational mentoring and computer skills 
partnership program, which teams young people with elderly Americans. 
Generational and age barriers break down as young people help the 
elderly develop computer skills, while the elderly provide their unique 
and personalized recollections of their lives in American history. To 
date, over 10,000 youth from around the world have participated in this 
  With the work of her institute, we can truly say that in addition to 
having played a major role in shaping America's past and present, Rosa 
Parks is continuing to help shape America's future.
  Mr. President, I close with the profound, instructive words of Rosa 
Parks, which she spoke in 1988. She said: ``I am leaving this legacy to 
all of you . . . to bring peace, justice, equality, love and a 
fulfillment of what our lives should be. Without vision, the people 
will perish, and without courage and inspiration, dreams will die--the 
dream of freedom and peace.''
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, one of the honors and duties of serving 
in the United States Senate is to note the passing of great Americans 
and to recognize their greatness. Last night, Rosa Parks died in her 
home in Detroit. She was 92 years old.
  Rosa Parks did not set out to become a hero on the evening of 
December 1, 1955. She was, like millions of other Americans, merely on 
her way home after a long day's work.
  She was a seamstress in Montgomery, AL, but her simple, profound act 
of civil disobedience was the spark that ignited the modern civil 
rights movement. For far too many African Americans at that time 
America did not live up to its promise that ``all men are created 
equal.'' Thanks to Rosa Parks, America was forced to look at itself in 
the mirror, admit its failing, and recommit itself to its founding 
  Dr. Martin Luther King once wrote that ``human progress never rolls 
in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of 
men.'' This is the story of one such effort.

[[Page S11847]]

  Rosa Parks was heading home that winter night on the Montgomery city 
bus system, which was segregated. Front row seats were reserved for 
White passengers. Blacks were restricted to the back of the bus and 
sometimes the middle of the bus. But if a White passenger demanded a 
Black person give up his or her seat, that Black person was required to 
do so.
  On that first day in December, the White bus driver demanded that 
four African Americans give up their seats so a single White man could 
sit down. Three of them complied.
  Rosa didn't.
  ``If you don't stand up I'm going to call the police and have you 
arrested,'' said the driver.
  But Rosa Parks had had enough of the evil divisions of segregation, 
and she replied to the driver, ``You may do that.''
  With this simple refusal, Rosa Parks set into motion a crusade that 
would eventually awaken the conscience of our country. Perhaps the time 
was right for a nation like America to erase the stain of segregation. 
But it was not inevitable that the struggle would start on that day in 
that town, lit by one woman's courage and conviction.
  Nor was it inevitable that Mrs. Parks took her stand in a town that 
counted among its residents a 26-year-old preacher named Martin Luther 
King, Jr. In response, Dr. King became the leader of the local bus 
boycott. Over time, as we all know, he led America's civil rights 
movement to overcome the injustices that robbed millions of our fellow 
citizens of their full rights as Americans.
  Rosa Parks' life proved that one American with courage can make a 
majority. We note her passing with sadness but also with deep gratitude 
for the gift she left all of us.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, yesterday, our Nation lost one of our 
heroes, Rosa Parks--the mother of the modern civil rights movement. The 
movement that she helped launch changed not only our country but the 
entire world, as her actions gave hope to every individual fighting for 
civil and human rights.
  While history proudly remembers December 1, 1955, as Rosa Parks' 
bravest moment, her fight against oppression and segregation began long 
before that day. Mrs. Parks was active in the Montgomery NAACP, serving 
as secretary and as an adviser to the NAACP's Youth Council. She also 
worked to register African Americans to vote and was active in many 
other civil rights causes. While it was her act of defiance in 1955 
that garnered national attention, she had been thrown off a bus 12 
years earlier--by the same driver--for refusing to move. Why was she 
thrown off the bus? Even then, she refused to give up her seat.
  Rosa Parks' bravery triggered the Montgomery bus boycott. The boycott 
gained national attention, ushered in an atmosphere of change, and was 
the precursor to landmark legislation--most importantly, the Civil 
Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. Eventually, the issue of 
segregation and Montgomery's bus policy ended up in the Supreme Court--
another reminder of how important the institution is in protecting the 
rights of every American.
  And we should not forget something else. The boycott introduced the 
Nation to a young minister, a Baptist preacher named Dr. Martin Luther 
King, Jr.
  While the Nation will miss Rosa Parks, we take heart in the fact that 
her legacy will be felt by generations to come. As Senators, all of us 
have a special responsibility when it comes to the legacy of Rosa 
Parks. It is not enough for us to celebrate her life with words. As 
leaders of this country, we must honor it with deeds, deeds that 
continue the fight Rosa Parks began almost 50 years ago.
  Specifically, we must reauthorize the Voting Rights Act, which has 
opened the doors of political participation to countless Americans. We 
must work to increase educational opportunities so that all young 
people have a chance for a better life. We must ensure that our 
policies build a better America for the meek and vulnerable, not only 
the powerful and strong. This work is how we will truly celebrate the 
life of Rosa Parks. All of us in this Chamber have it in our power to 
further the fight she began, and we owe it to every American to ensure 
her legacy endures.
  Mr. OBAMA. Mr. President, today the Nation mourns a genuine American 
hero. Rosa Parks died yesterday in her home in Detroit. Through her 
courage and by her example, Rosa Parks helped lay the foundation for a 
country that could begin to live up to its creed.
  Her life, and her brave actions, reminded each and every one of us of 
our personal responsibilities to stand up for what is right and the 
central truth of the American experience that our greatness as a nation 
derives from seemingly ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
  Rosa Parks' life was a lesson in perseverance. As a child, she grew 
up listening to the Ku Klux Klan ride by her house, fearing that her 
house would be burned down. In her small hometown in Alabama, she 
attended a one-room school for African American children that only went 
through the sixth grade. When she moved to Montgomery, AL, to continue 
her schooling, she was forced to clean classrooms after school to pay 
her tuition. Although she attended Alabama State Teachers College, Rosa 
Parks would later make her living as a seamstress and housekeeper.
  But she didn't accept that her opportunities were limited to sewing 
clothes or cleaning houses. In her 40s, Rosa Parks was appointed 
secretary of the Montgomery branch of the NAACP and was active in voter 
registration drives with the Montgomery Voters League. In the summer of 
1955, she attended the Highlander Folk School, where she took classes 
in workers' rights and racial equality. Well before she made headlines 
across the country, she was a highly respected member of the Montgomery 
community and a committed member of the civil rights effort.
  Of course, her name became permanently etched in American history on 
December 1, 1955, when she was arrested for refusing to give up her 
seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery bus. It wasn't the first time 
Rosa Parks refused to acquiesce to the Jim Crow system. The same bus 
driver who had her arrested had thrown her off a bus the year before 
for refusing to give up her seat.
  Some schoolchildren are taught that Rosa Parks refused to give up her 
seat because her feet were tired. But our Nation's schoolbooks are only 
getting it half right. She once said:

       The only tired I was, was tired of giving in.

  This solitary act of civil disobedience became a call to action. Her 
arrest led a then relatively unknown pastor, Martin Luther King, Jr., 
to organize a boycott of the Montgomery bus system. That boycott lasted 
381 days and culminated in a landmark Supreme Court decision finding 
that the city's segregation policy was unconstitutional.
  This solitary act of civil disobedience was also the spark that 
ignited the beginning of the end for segregation and inspired millions 
around the country and ultimately around the world to get involved in 
the fight for racial equality.
  Rosa Parks' persistence and determination did not end that day in 
Montgomery, nor did it end with the passage of the Civil Rights Act and 
Voting Rights Act years later. She stayed active in the NAACP and other 
civil rights groups for years. From 1965 to 1988, Ms. Parks continued 
her public service by working for my good friend Congressman John 
Conyers. And in an example of her low-key demeanor, her job in 
Congressman Conyers' office did not involve appearances as a figurehead 
or celebrity; she helped homeless folks find housing.
  At the age of 74, she opened the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for 
Self-Development, which offers education and job training programs for 
disadvantaged youth. And even into her 80s, Rosa Parks gave lectures 
and attended meetings with civil rights groups.
  At the age of 86, Rosa Parks' courage and fortitude was recognized by 
President Bill Clinton, who awarded her the Nation's highest honor for 
a civilian the Congressional Gold Medal.
  As we honor the life of Rosa Parks, we should not limit our 
commemorations to lofty eulogies.
  Instead, let us commit ourselves to carrying on her fight, one 
solitary act at a time, and ensure that her passion continues to 
inspire as it did a half-century ago. That, in my view, is how we can 
best thank her for her immense contributions to our country.
  Rosa Parks once said:

[[Page S11848]]

       As long as there is unemployment, war, crime and all things 
     that go to the infliction of man's inhumanity to man, 
     regardless--there is much to be done, and people need to work 

  Now that she has passed, it is up to us to make sure that her message 
is shared. While we will miss her cherished spirit, let's make sure 
that her legacy lives on in the heart of a nation.

  As a personal note, I think it is fair to say were it not for that 
quiet moment of courage by Mrs. Parks, I would not be standing here 
today. I owe her a great thanks, as does the Nation. She will be sorely 
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, with the passing of Rosa Parks, the 
Nation has lost a courageous woman, a true American heroine, and an 
icon of the civil rights movement. All of us mourn her loss. Half a 
century ago, Rosa Parks stood up not only for herself but for all 
future generations of Americans. Her quiet resoluteness in the face of 
segregation inspired America, transformed the civil rights movement, 
and roused the moral conscience of the Nation from its long slumber on 
civil rights. We will never forget her, and our hearts and prayers 
today are with her loved ones.
  On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks was a seamstress in Montgomery, AL, 
on her way home by bus from her work. Under the law at that time in 
Montgomery, and in many other places in the South, Rosa Parks, as an 
African American, was ordered to give up her seat for a white passenger 
when the bus became crowded. She refused, was arrested, and lost her 
job as a result. But her courageous act prompted the African American 
community to begin a boycott of the Montgomery bus system, which 
eventually broke the back of the Jim Crow rules in the system, and 
Montgomery buses were desegregated the following year.
  Her later life continued to demonstrate her quiet moral resolve and 
her extraordinary commitment to doing what is right. She continued her 
civil rights work after moving to Detroit in 1957, working with the 
office of Congressman John Conyers for over 20 years, and later 
starting the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development, a 
nonprofit organization that motivates youths to reach their highest 
  In 1996, Rosa Parks was honored by President Clinton with the 
Presidential Medal of Freedom and she received the Congressional Gold 
Medal in 1999.
  I join my colleagues from Michigan, Senators Levin and Stabenow, in 
support of a resolution honoring the life and accomplishments of Rosa 
Parks. Her courage, dignity, and determination symbolize the best of 
America, the spirit of patriotism that challenges us whenever we fail 
to live up to the highest ideals of our society.
  Today, as we mourn the passing of Rosa Parks, we are reminded how 
much has been accomplished because of her sacrifice, and how much work 
America still has to do to fully live up to her ideals of equality. We 
are grateful for her example, and proud to carry on her mission of 
hope, opportunity, and equal justice for all.
  As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote about her courageous step 
towards equality, ``[N]o one can understand the action of Mrs. Parks 
unless he realizes that eventually the cup of endurance runs over, and 
the human personality cries out, `I can take it no longer' ''. Let 
those words in honor of Rosa Parks be our guide today.
  Mr. ALLEN. Mr. President, we learned last night of the passing of one 
of this Nation's greatest Civil Rights heroes who will always be 
remembered for her steadfast leadership for equal justice. When Rosa 
Parks peacefully refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery public bus 
in 1955, her solitary act of courage for the cause of equality became a 
defining moment in American history.
  It was Mrs. Parks' steady courage and unflinching character that 
helped set in motion changes that moved the hearts and minds of the 
American people. She clearly demonstrated the need for our country to 
live up to one of our founding principles, that all men are created 
equal. America is a much better place today because of the strength of 
this quiet seamstress from Tuskegee. My thoughts and prayers are with 
Mrs. Parks' family during these days of sadness.
  I would encourage young Americans to visit the Rosa Parks Library and 
Museum in Montgomery to learn about her life. It is my hope that the 
spirit of Rosa Parks continues to live on in America and that this 
Nation and its leaders never forget the important lessons about decency 
and equality of opportunity for all. I know that her spirit will live 
on in my life.
  Mr. KYL. Mr. President, America mourns the passing of a quiet hero, 
Rosa Parks, who died yesterday in Detroit at the age of 92.
  On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, AL, a seamstress named Rosa Parks 
refused to move from her seat near the front of a city bus so a White 
person could sit there. Like a shot heard round the world, her act of 
civil disobedience spurred the movement to gain social and political 
equality for Black people in this country.
  It is almost hard to recover, half a century later, a sense of how 
much courage it took for her to do what she did. By remaining seated, 
she violated a local segregation law that consigned African Americans 
to second-class citizenship. She was arrested for disorderly conduct, 
and the incident galvanized the Montgomery bus boycott, propelling 
Martin Luther King, Jr., the boycott's leader, to a national role in 
the civil rights movement.
  As the ancient poet once said, ``A good reputation is more valuable 
than money.'' Rosa Parks' sterling reputation was what civil rights 
leaders banked on in putting her in the spotlight for the cause that 
day--and they were never disappointed. Throughout her long life she 
exemplified honesty, integrity, and dignity, and articulated the all-
important principle that political and social equality is every 
American's due.
  Mrs. Parks, along with Dr. King, A. Philip Randolph, Medgar Evers, 
Fannie Lou Hamer, Bob Moses, and the other campaigners for civil rights 
during the 1940s, 1950s, and early 1960s, had faith in the legal 
process. They had faith, too, in the moral conscience of America. They 
knew time had come. Their patience, their discipline, and their 
understanding that these two qualities would win the White majority to 
their cause, were admirable. Mrs. Parks deserves a share of the credit 
for accomplishments in the decade following the famous bus boycott: 
passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act 
of 1965.
  These laws made illegal racial segregation in public accommodations, 
in housing, in education, and in the workforce. These and other civil 
rights laws have not eradicated bigotry. They have not gotten us all 
the way to a colorblind society yet. But they were huge strides toward 
making America live up to its founding doctrine that ``All men are 
created equal.''
  Mrs. Parks took risks to vindicate ideas that transcend race, color, 
and religious creed. She said: ``To this day I believe we are here on 
the planet Earth to live, grow up and do what we can to make this world 
a better place for all people to enjoy freedom.''
  She stood for what is universal. That is why interest in one 
seamstress' act on a December day long ago in Alabama has never 
flagged. There are books, songs, and television shows about the bus 
boycott and its humble heroine, proving that unassuming people can do 
great things when they are animated by the highest ideals.
  Rosa Parks, Godspeed.
  Mr. CHAMBLISS. Mr. President, it is with deep sadness and heavy 
hearts that my wife Julianne and I learned of the passing of Mrs. Rosa 
Parks. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Parks family at 
this sorrowful time.
  Mrs. Rosa Parks, ``The Mother of the Civil Rights Movement,'' is an 
international symbol of freedom. She stood for what she believed in, 
and changed our Nation's history. Her act of courage inspired so many 
during the civil rights movement and continues to inspire people today.
  Rosa Parks sat quietly on a bus in Montgomery, AL 50 years ago, and 
refused to give up her seat to a white passenger. Because of the 
nonviolent protest that Mrs. Parks displayed on December 1, 1955 our 
entire Nation turned its attention to the gross indecencies that were 
affecting the black community.
  Her solitary action set into play the revolutionary 381-day bus 
boycott that

[[Page S11849]]

was organized by Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. At the time not many 
Americans had heard of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. His protest and 
monumental following brought about the November 1956 Supreme Court 
Ruling that segregation on transportation is illegal, and in 1964 the 
Civil Rights Act, which outlawed racial discrimination in the U.S.
  Rosa Parks attended Alabama State College, and upon graduation worked 
as a seamstress and housekeeper. She and her husband, Raymond Parks, 
were active in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored 
People, NAACP. In 1943 Mrs. Parks was elected Secretary of the 
Montgomery Chapter of the NAACP, and later became its youth leader. She 
was also involved in the Montgomery Voters League, an organization that 
helped black citizens become registered to vote.
  Rosa Parks continued to set an example for our Nation in 1987 when 
she founded the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development. 
The Institute teaches young people the history of the civil rights 
movement through an annual summer program called ``Pathways to 
  Rosa Parks was one of the most significant figures in the 20th 
century, and appropriately received hundreds of awards and honors, 
including the Medal of Freedom Award, presented by President Clinton in 
1996. Mrs. Parks will be deeply missed, and her legacy will forever be 
  Ms. CANTWELL. Mr. President, I rise tonight to honor the life of Rosa 
  Let's ask an impossible question: Who was Rosa Parks?
  Rosa Parks was a seamstress. She was a community organizer. She was 
an activist and a leader. Rosa Parks was a carpenter's daughter and a 
barber's wife. She was a hero of the civil rights movement. She was a 
trusted Congressional aide and a respected youth development expert.
  And of course, Rosa Parks was the inspiring protagonist of a stirring 
American tale. Protest, reform, and reinvention marked the early pages 
of her great human story. On December 1, 1955, on a bus in Montgomery, 
AL, Rosa Parks, a black woman, refused to stand up and give her seat to 
a white man. She was arrested, tried, convicted, and fined for her act 
of civil disobedience in less than a week. The citywide boycott 
inspired by her actions would last more than a year. The full impact of 
those events would change a nation, last a lifetime, and reach far 
  Rosa Parks has played a guiding role not only in the lives of 
countless individuals but, over the last half-century, in the shape of 
our ever-evolving Nation. Throughout it all, she has been a great 
American teacher.
  From Rosa Parks, we learned what it takes to be courageous in the 
face of oppression and hate. From Rosa Parks, we learned that sometimes 
to be strong is to say ``No.''
  From Rosa Parks we learned that freedom without equality is no 
freedom at all. And from Rosa Parks we learned that fighting the bonds 
of orthodoxy and confronting the sources of ignorances is a noble and 
urgent cause.
  Rosa Parks' legacy reminds us that a lone person can effect great 
change; many people working together with united purpose can achieve 
even more.
  Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the young Montgomery preacher who helped 
to transform Rosa Parks' act of resistance into a powerful movement, 
would later say the ``arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends 
towards justice.''
  If we are to honor the legacy of Rosa Parks, we must never rest in 
our pursuit of that justice.
  Mr. NELSON of Florida. Mr. President, I want to express my thoughts 
on the passing of a true civil rights pioneer. Rosa Parks' actions 
almost 50 years ago in Montgomery, AL, ignited a movement that 
dramatically changed the face of America and the world.
  Even before her refusal to give up her seat on December 1, 1955, Mrs. 
Parks was already actively involved in the civil rights movement as the 
secretary of the local chapter of the NAACP. But her actions that day 
laid the groundwork for the civil rights movement in the years to 
follow. As a result of her actions, a local public bus boycott ensued 
that garnered national attention and resulted in a U.S. Supreme Court 
ruling prohibiting bus segregation, mass demonstrations throughout the 
South ensued, and Martin Luther King, Jr. becoming a national civil 
rights leader.
  Mrs. Parks' refusal to give up her seat on December 1, 1955, was a 
simple but dangerous action that highlighted the inequalities faced by 
millions of Americans living under segregation. Former U.S. poet 
laureate, Rita Dove, wrote, ``How she sat there, the time right inside 
a place so wrong it was ready.'' America was ready for change and that 
change continues today.
  As the world grieves, let us remember her courage and work to ensure 
that her legacy continues.
  Mr. FRIST. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the resolution 
and preamble be agreed to, en bloc, the motion to reconsider be laid 
upon the table, and that any statements relating to the resolution be 
printed in the Record, without intervening action or debate.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The resolution (S. Res. 287) was agreed to.
  The preamble was agreed to.
  The resolution, with its preamble, reads as follows:

                              S. Res. 287

       Whereas Rosa Parks was born on February 4, 1913, as Rosa 
     Louise McCauley, to James and Leona McCauley in Tuskegee, 
       Whereas her moral clarity and quiet dignity shaped and 
     inspired the Civil Rights Movement in the United States over 
     the last half-century;
       Whereas Rosa Parks was educated in Pine Level, Alabama, 
     until the age of 11, when she enrolled in the Montgomery 
     Industrial School for Girls and then went on to attend the 
     Alabama State Teachers College High School;
       Whereas on December 18, 1932, Rosa McCauley married Raymond 
     Parks and settled in Montgomery, Alabama;
       Whereas, together, Raymond and Rosa Parks worked in the 
     Montgomery, Alabama branch of the National Association for 
     the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), where Raymond 
     Parks served as an active member and Rosa Parks served as a 
     secretary and youth leader;
       Whereas on December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested for 
     refusing to give up her seat in the ``colored'' section of 
     the bus to a white man on the orders of the bus driver 
     because the ``white'' section was full;
       Whereas the arrest of Rosa Parks led African Americans and 
     others to boycott the Montgomery city bus line until the 
     buses in Montgomery were desegregated;
       Whereas the 381-day Montgomery bus boycott encouraged other 
     courageous people across the United States to organize in 
     protest and demand equal rights for all;
       Whereas most historians date the beginning of the modern-
     day Civil Rights Movement in the United States to December 1, 
       Whereas the fearless acts of civil disobedience displayed 
     by Rosa Parks and others resulted in a legal action 
     challenging Montgomery's segregated public transportation 
     system, which subsequently led to the United States Supreme 
     Court, on November 13, 1956, affirming a district court 
     decision that held that Montgomery segregation codes deny and 
     deprive African Americans of the equal protection of the laws 
     (352 U.S. 903);
       Whereas in 1957, Rosa Parks moved to Detroit, Michigan;
       Whereas in 1965, Representative John Conyers hired Rosa 
     Parks as a member of his staff, where she worked in various 
     administrative jobs for 23 years and retired in 1988 at age 
       Whereas Rosa Parks continued her civil rights work by 
     starting the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self 
     Development in 1987, a nonprofit organization that motivates 
     young people to reach their highest potential;
       Whereas the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self 
     Development offers educational programs for young people, 
     including two signature programs: first, Pathways to Freedom, 
     a 21-day program that introduces students to the Underground 
     Railroad and the civil rights movement with a freedom ride 
     across the United States and Canada, tracing the underground 
     railroad into civil rights, and second, Learning Centers and 
     Senior Citizens, a program that partners young people with 
     senior citizens where the young help the senior citizens 
     develop their computer skills and senior citizens mentor the 
       Whereas Rosa Parks has been commended for her work in the 
     realm of civil rights with such recognitions as the NAACP's 
     Spingarn Medal, the Martin Luther King, Jr., Nonviolent Peace 
     Prize, the Presidential medal of Freedom, and the 
     Congressional Gold Medal;
       Whereas Time magazine named Rosa Parks one of the ``100 
     most influential people of the 20th century'', The Henry Ford 
     Museum in Michigan bought and exhibited the bus on which she 
     was arrested, and The Rosa Parks Library and Museum opened in 
     Montgomery in 2000;
       Whereas in 2005, the year marking the 50th anniversary of 
     Rosa Parks' refusal to give up her seat on the bus, we 
     recognize the courage, dignity, and determination displayed 

[[Page S11850]]

     Rosa Parks as she confronted injustice and inequality; and
       Whereas in 1988 Rosa Parks said: ``I am leaving this legacy 
     to all of you . . . to bring peace, justice, equality, love 
     and a fulfillment of what our lives should be. Without 
     vision, the people will perish, and without courage `and 
     inspiration, dreams will die--the dream of freedom and 
     peace'': Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved by the Senate That the Senate honors the life and 
     accomplishments of Rosa Parks and expresses its condolences 
     on her passing.