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Rosa Parks

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She visited Utah only a couple of times late in her life, yet the impact of Rosa Parks on this state and all of America during the last half of the 20th century was immense.

It is why KSL joins the nation in mourning her death Monday in Detroit at the age of 92.

Her simple, yet steadfast and principled act of defiance on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955 literally changed the course of American history. It set in motion a high-profile, year-long boycott of Montgomery buses by blacks, introduced the nation to a young Baptist minister named Martin Luther King, Jr., and led to a Supreme Court decision a year later that outlawed segregation on buses.

In short, this courageous woman of quiet dignity and respect - a humble seamstress plucked serendipitously from obscurity - became the founding symbol of the civil rights movement of the 1950’s, 1960’s and beyond.

Rosa Parks was by nature soft spoken, and not at all given to verbosity and acrimony, yet through her softness, her message was heard above the roar of the crowd.

All Americans can learn from her example. And they can be grateful she came along at a pivotal moment in history and chose to do what she did.

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