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Rosa Parks Receives Medal in Oval Office

Nation IN BRIEF : WASHINGTON, D.C.

September 15, 1996|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

President Clinton honored civil rights heroine Rosa Parks for "one modest act of defiance that changed the course of history," awarding her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in an Oval Office ceremony. Parks was not able to attend earlier ceremonies in which 10 other distinguished Americans also were recognized and thus got her medal, the nation's highest civilian award, solo. Clinton later escorted Parks, still wearing her medal, to the annual dinner of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. The elderly black woman's refusal to relinquish her seat in a city bus to a white person led to the 1955 Montgomery, Ala., bus boycott, one of the opening dramas of the civil rights movement.

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