Three United States Congresspeople have joined together to introduce legislation to establish a National Rosa Parks Day. The holiday would remember the significance of Parks, who sparked massive change with a straightforward decision.
Reps. Jim Cooper of Tennessee, Terri Sewell of Alabam, and U.S. Congresswoman and Congressional Black Caucus Chair Joyce Beatty of Ohio introduced a bill to establish National Rosa Parks Day as a Federal Holiday, reported Atlanta Daily World.
“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,” said Beatty.
As of yet, Rosa Parks Day is only recognized by four states. California and Missouri celebrate it on Feb. 4, the late civil rights icon’s birthday. Oregon and Ohio celebrate it on Dec. 1.
Dec. 1 is the date that the bill suggests and is the most fitting day for the only federal holiday that would honor a woman. On that day in 1955, Parks refused to give up her seat in Montgomery, Alabama, to a white man who had just boarded.
Back then, the buses were segregated so that if no seats were available, Black people had to surrender their seats to any waiting white passenger.
Parks’ decision to be resolute in her refusal sparked the Montgomery bus boycott that lasted for over a year.
On June 5, 1956, the federal district court ruled in Browder v. Gayle that bus segregation was unconstitutional. That November, the Supreme Court upheld the ruling.
Congress passed a bill this summer to acknowledge Juneteenth as a federal holiday, much to the chagrin of select Republican politicians who feel the cost of national holidays is too costly for the American taxpayer.
The bill is awaiting a vote in the House Oversight and Reform Committee. So far, only the three co-sponsors have endorsed the bill, and they are all Democrats.