Sen. Chuck Schumer, in an interview in the New York Times today, said that later this year a statue of Rosa Parks will stand in Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol.
Parks, who was sometimes referred to as “the first lady of civil rights” refused to give up her seat and sit in the back of a Montgomery, Ala. bus at the dawn if the civil rights era.
The incident, which occurred on December 1, 1955, kicked off the Montgomery Bus Boycott and Parks’ action began what is widely seen as the start of the modern civil rights movement.
Schumer told the Times today that Monday, inauguration day, “will be the last time we will have the luncheon in Statuary Hall where Rosa Parks will not be there.”
Rosa Parks will be one of only two statues depicting Black females in the U.S. Capitol and the only one in Statuary Hall. A bust of abolishionist Sojourner Truth (1779-1883) was dedicated last year. Her bust stands in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center. Unlike the Truth bust, Rosa Parks will be depicted at full stature.
Parks’ statue will be one ornate room away from the Martin Luther King bust in the Capitol Rotunda.
Schumer is the Chairman of the Rules Committee which overseas artwork in the Capitol.
Parks died in 2005 and was one of few people to “lie in honor” in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda. President Bush ordered all flags to be placed at half staff after her death.