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American human rights champion Rosa Parks dies

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American human rights champion Rosa Parks dies

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he US civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks has died at the age of 92. Her refusal to give up her seat on a bus to a white man in 1955 sparked a revolution in American race relations. She was arrested for her actions, triggering a lengthy bus boycott by the black population of Montgomery, Alabama. Parks was not the first to be charged for the offence, but, as local secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People, she made the ideal candidate for a test case. Parks received the highest US civilian honour, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1996, and the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor in 1999. She says her biggest day, however, was in 1956, when the Supreme Court ruled that Alabama’s segregated bus service was unconstitutional. The protests that followed her case brought Martin Luther King to national attention.