Reflections on Rosa Parks

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Reflections on Rosa Parks

Congress can pay final tribute to prominent private citizens with a public ceremony called Lying in Honor, similar to the Lying in State ceremony reserved for government officials and military personnel. The legislative branch can also award Congressional Gold Medals to important individuals and commemorate them with sculptures, commissioned for the Capitol Collection.

Rosa Parks has been honored in all three of these ways in the past quarter century.

Unveiled in 2013, the statue of Mrs. Parks in the Capitol allows all who walk by to contemplate her legacy. In this episode, we spoke to longtime staff about Rosa Parks -- their memories of days she was celebrated in the Capitol, their experiences speaking every day about someone who is often remembered for just one day, and the ways her story resonates in their own lives.

Guest Speakers:

  • Adriane Norman, Douglas Ike, and Ronn Jackson, Visitor Guides, Capitol Visitor Center
  • Audio Clips from the February 27, 2013 Rosa Parks Statue Unveiling courtesy of the House Recording Studio.

black and white picture of rosa parks with glasses smiling at camera

Photograph of Rosa Parks with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (ca. 1955)

Learn more about the life of Rosa Parks in the Library of Congress exhibit, “Rosa Parks: In Her Own Words.”

bronze statue of rosa parks sitting and looking off into distance wearing glasses and a hat

Rosa Parks

This statue depicts Rosa Parks seated on a rock-like formation of which she seems almost a part, symbolizing her famous refusal to give up her bus seat in 1955.

president obama and 4 others pulling the rope to reveal rosa park's bronze bustRosa Parks Statue Unveiling
February 27, 2013

Rosa Parks' statue was unveiled in National Statuary Hall of the United States Capitol, approximately 100 years after her birth on February 4, 1913.

Photo courtesy of the Architect of the Capitol

casket in the middle of rotunda with two guards guarding it and a large crowd circled around itRosa Parks lay in honor in the Rotunda from October 30-31, 2005 in a recognition of her contribution to advancing civil and human rights.

Photo courtesy of the Architect of the Capitol

Guest speakers and Capitol Visitor Center staff (from left to right): Douglas Ike, Janet Clemens (podcast host), Ronn Jackson, Adriane Norman, Visitor Guides.two men and two women in red jackets sitting around a table smiling all in front of microphones

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