The United States Postal Service marked the beginning of Black History Month with a Forever stamp honoring civil rights icon Rosa Parks. At 11 a.m. on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 the Postal Service will hold its Annual Black History Month Stamp Dedication at Mount Vernon City Hall to unveil the Rosa Parks stamp.
Mrs. Parks, a black seamstress whose refusal to relinquish her seat to a white man on a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama almost 60 years ago, grew into a mythic event that helped touch off the civil rights movement of the 1950’s and 1960’s.
For her act of defiance, Mrs. Parks was arrested in Detroit, convicted of violating the segregation laws and fined $10, plus $4 in court fees. In response, blacks in Montgomery boycotted the buses for nearly 13 months while mounting a successful Supreme Court challenge to the Jim Crow law that enforced their second-class status on the public bus system.
Out of this boycott organized by the Montgomery Improvement Association, emerged a young Baptist minister who would take the forefront in the civil rights movement. The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would go on to lead a nonviolent civil rights movement stirred by the actions of this courageous woman. He would go on to earn the Nobel Peace Prize and help shape a national agenda in combatting racial prejudice and racial intolerance.
Rosa Parks, called “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement,” spent her life supporting civil rights causes, donating her time and money to various causes. When she died in 2005, she was honored by the cities of Montgomery and Detroit with front seats of their city buses reserved with black ribbons until her funeral.
Parks was the 31st person, the first American who had not been a U.S. government official, and the second private person to have their body lain in state in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol. She was the first woman and the second black person to be so honored.
The Postal Service launched the series Jan. 1 with the Emancipation Proclamation Forever Stamp, which was issued at The National Archives in Washington. In August, the series will culminate with the dedication of a stamp recognizing the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington.
During the dedication the stamp will be unveiled and made available for purchase. The stamp can also be purchased at Mount Vernon Post Offices, usps.com/stamps, and by phone at 800STAMP24 (800.782.6724).
For more information, please contact USPS Retail Mgr. @ (914) 697-5498