Today in History: The Montgomery Bus Boycott Began
The Montgomery Bus Boycott, in which African Americans refused to ride city buses in Montgomery, Alabama, to protest segregated seating, took place from December 5, 1955, to December 20, 1956, and is regarded as the first large-scale demonstration against segregation in the U.S.
On December 1, 1955, four days before the boycott began, Rosa Parks, an African-American woman, refused to yield her seat to a white man on a Montgomery bus. She was arrested and fined.
The boycott of public buses by blacks in Montgomery began on the day of Parks’ court hearing and lasted 381 days.
The U.S. Supreme Court ultimately ordered Montgomery to integrate its bus system, and one of the leaders of the boycott, a young pastor named Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-68), emerged as a prominent national leader of the American civil rights movement in the wake of the action.