About Transit Equity Day
Transit Equity Day in USA in 2024
The state of Wisconsin has celebrated Transit Equity Day on February 4th to commemorate Rosa Parks’ birthday, since 2019.
Rosa Parks was an American activist in the civil rights movement best known for her pivotal role in the Montgomery bus boycott.
This holiday was created in 2000 by the state legislature of California; it commemorates civil rights leaders on the birthday of Rosa Parks — a Black woman who refused to give up her bus seat for white people in 1955.
In 1955, on 1st December, Posa Parks boarded a bus in her hometown of Montgomery, Alabama, after a long hectic work day. She sat in the ‘colored’ section as she took the Cleveland Avenue bus home. Soon the bus started getting full. As per the Montgomery city ordinance, bus drivers can assign passengers seats. But it doesn’t allow them to demand the passenger leave their seats.
Despite this, bus drivers asked black commuters to leave their seats and give them to white passengers at times when public transportation gets full. Rosa refused to give her seat to a white passenger and ended up getting arrested. On 5th December she was found guilty of violating the city ordinance by the court and ordered to pay her fine of $10 plus a court fee.
The Rosa Parks Memorial was unveiled in Montgomery, Alabama in 2021; the Rosa Parks bus was restored by The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation in Dearborn, Michigan in 2001 and is now part of the museum's, "With Liberty and Justice for All" exhibit.
Rosa Parks Day should be observed by learning about Rosa Parks and some of her more notable quotes, such as, "I had given up my seat before, but this day, I was especially tired. Tired from my work as a seamstress, and tired from the ache in my heart."
In Ohio and Oregon it is celebrated on December 1st, the day Rosa Parks was arrested.