Rosa Parks statue to be unveiled Sunday in downtown Montgomery

Sara MacNeil, Montgomery Advertiser
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Rosa Parks statue to be unveiled Sunday in downtown Montgomery

FILE -- In a June 15, 1999 file photo Rosa Parks smiles during a Capitol Hill ceremony where Parks was honored with the Congressional Gold Medal in Washington. A new statue of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks will be unveiled in downtown Montgomery, Ala., on Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Khue Bui, File)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – A statue of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks will be unveiled Sunday in downtown Montgomery, an event coinciding with the day in 1955 when Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a public bus to a white man.

Her arrest sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement.

The statue will be unveiled at 1:30 p.m. at Montgomery Plaza at the Court Street Fountain, the city of Montgomery announced.

The statue will be placed approximately 30 feet from the spot where Parks is believed to have boarded the bus, said Ashley Ledbetter, executive director of the Montgomery Area Business Committee for the Arts.

An undated file photo of Rosa Parks riding on a Montgomery Area Transit System bus. Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus on Dec. 1, 1955, and ignited the boycott that led to a federal court ruling against segregation in public transportation.

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Along with the Parks memorial, the city will present two historic markers for Browder v. Gayle – the landmark case that ruled segregation on Montgomery buses unconstitutional.

Aurelia Browder, Mary Louise Smith, Susie McDonald and Claudette Colvin will be honored with the markers.

A Montgomery Sheriff's Department booking photo of Rosa Parks.

The civil rights memorials are a partnership between the city of Montgomery, Montgomery County, the Alabama Department of Tourism and the Montgomery Area Business Committee for the Arts.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed are among those speaking at the unveiling. Reed made history earlier this year when he was elected as the city’s first African American mayor.

Alabama lawmakers in 2018 voted to name Dec. 1 as Mrs. Rosa L. Parks Day in the state.

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on Montgomery Advertiser: Rosa Parks: Montgomery to unveil statue of Civil Rights pioneer