Rosa Parks Day

Rosa Parks Day is a U.S. observance that celebrates the famous civil rights leader Rosa Parks. In different parts of the United States, this day is celebrated on different dates.In some areas, it’s celebrated on Rosa Parks’ birthday, which is February 4th, and in other areas, it’s celebrated on December 1st.

No matter what date it’s observed, however, it’s a good day to learn about the civil rights movement or to take part in activities that support the civil rights movement.

Rosa Parks—A Civil Rights Legend

Rosa Parks was born on February 4th, 1913, in Tuskegee, Alabama, and is best known for her response to an incident that happened to her on December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama. On that day, she refused the bus driver’s order to give up her seat in the “colored” section of the bus to a white passenger, after the whites-only section had already been filled.

She was then arrested and convicted of violating the laws of segregation. However, Rosa Parks was able to appeal her conviction, and she formally challenged the legality of segregation laws in the process. Throughout the following years, this incident would become a symbol of the Civil Rights Movement.

The Observance of Rosa Parks Day

In California, Rosa Parks Day was first observed on January 5th, 2000, and has been celebrated every year since then in that state on February 4th. In Missouri, Governor Jay Nixon established February 4th as Rosa Parks Day in that state in 2015.

In both Ohio and Oregon, this observance is observed on December 1st, which is the day she was arrested for civil disobedience. Since Rosa Parks Day isn’t a federal holiday in the United States, all government offices remain open, as well as businesses on this day. As such, it’s not regarded as a public holiday but is instead considered to be an observance.

Celebrating Rosa Parks Day

The best way for people to celebrate Rosa Parks Day is to get out there and make a difference in the Civil Rights Movement. This could mean protesting for just causes, lobbying a politician for issues that affect people of color, or even helping marginalized communities get organized and registered to vote.

People can also spend this day learning more about Rosa Parks and the Civil Rights Movement. They can do this by reading books that cover the subject quite well. Some of the books on the subject can be found below:

  • Rosa Parks by Rosa Parks
  • I Am Rosa Parks by Rosa Parks & James Haskins
  • Reflections by Rosa Parks: The Quiet Strength and Faith of a Woman Who Changed a Nation
  • I Shall Not Be Moved by Rosa Parks

People wanting to celebrate the day can also engage in other ways. Teachers can plan a curriculum or field trip that highlights Rosa Parks and the Civil Rights Movement, use the hashtag #RosaParksDay on social media sites, or take part in one of the many events that are hosted all over the U.S.

Where is it celebrated?
United States (Local observance) - California, Missouri, Ohio, Oregon
When is it?
This year (2024)
Next year (2025)
Last year (2023)