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Wed February 27, 2013
Mitch McConnell Honors Rosa Parks at Capitol Ceremony
In a dedication featuring President Obama and congressional leaders, civil rights icon Rosa Parks became the first African-American woman to have a statue in the U.S. Capitol.
The 9-foot bronze statue of Parks, who died in 2005, was unveiled Wednesday in Statuary Hall. It honors the "first lady" of the Civil Rights Movement, who became an international figure for freedom and social justice for refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Al. bus in 1955.
Speaking at the ceremony, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky says Parks's legacy lives on and she served as an inspiration to stand up against injustice.
Despite the fanfare, Parks's biographer Douglass Brnkley says the late civil rights leader would have been "embarassed" instead of flattered at the dedication.
"What would have truly perturbed her was that Obama has yet to issue an executive order to create the Harriet Tubman National Monument," he says. "The paperwork is ready. It just needs the president’s signature."