December 5, 1955
Local civil rights leaders formed the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) to oversee the Montgomery bus boycott following the arrest of Rosa Parks days earlier. The activists organized at a mass meeting at Holt Street Baptist Church and decided to prolong and expand the boycott, which began earlier that day and continued for more than a year. The MIA elected 26-year-old Martin Luther King Jr. as president and later worked with the NAACP to mount a legal challenge that ultimately integrated the city’s buses with the U.S. Supreme Court decision Browder v. Gayle. After completing the successful boycott, the MIA helped to found the much larger Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957.
Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.
Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., c. 1955. (National Archives and Records Administration, Local ID: 306-PSD-65-1882; Wikipedia)
Martin Luther King, Jr., half-length portrait, taken during anti-war demonstration, New York City, 1967. (Photograph by Don Rice, New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division)
MONTGOMERY, AL – OCTOBER 28: A trolley passes the site where civil rights icon Rosa Parks was arrested December 1, 1955, for not giving up her bus seat to a white man October 28, 2005 in Montgomery, Alabama. Rosa Parks, who died Monday at the age of 92, changed history on December 1, 1955 when she refused to give up her seat on a city bus to a white passenger. Her arrest for this triggered a 381-day boycott of the Montgomery bus system. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.