Rosa Parks

Lying In State And Honor At The US Capitol Rotunda In American History

The Reverend Billy Graham is lying in state and honor at the US Capitol Rotunda in Washington, DC today.

This is a rare event, and Graham is only the fourth private person outside of government to be so honored, along with Civil Rights Icon Rosa Parks in 2005, and two police officers who defended the Capitol from a gunman in 1998.

The list of government figures who have been so honored include 11 Presidents; 10 Senators; Soldiers of the various wars of America in the 20th century; and a few other military and government figures.

Henry Clay 1852
Abraham Lincoln 1865
Thaddeus Stevens 1868
Charles Sumner 1874
Henry Wilson 1875
James A. Garfield 1881
John A Logan 1886
William McKinley 1901
Pierre Charles L’Enfant 1909
George Dewey 1917
Unknown Soldiers of World War I 1921
Warren G. Harding 1923
William Howard Taft 1930
John Joseph Pershing 1948
Robert A. Taft 1953
Unknown Soldiers of World War II and the Korean War 1958
John F. Kennedy 1963
Douglas MacArthur 1964
Herbert Clark Hoover 1964
Dwight D. Eisenhower 1969
Everett McKinley Dirksen 1969
J. Edgar Hoover 1972
Lyndon Baines Johnson 1973
Hubert H. Humphrey 1978
Unknown Soldier Of the Vietnam Conflict 1984
Claude Denson Pepper 1989
Jacob Joseph Chestnut and John Michael Gibson (US Capitol Police Officers)
Ronald Wilson Reagan 2004
Rosa Parks 2005
Gerald R. Ford, Jr. 2006-2007
Daniel K. Inouye 2012

Additionally, Salmon P. Chase 1873 in the Senate chamber; Samuel Hooper 1875 in the House chamber; also Thurgood Marshall in 1993, Warren Burger in 1995, and Antonin Scalia in 2016 at the US Supreme Court; as well as Commerce Secretary Ron Brown at the Commerce Department in 1996.

Women On Currency: Replace Andrew Jackson Or Alexander Hamilton? Jackson, Definitely!

Six weeks ago, this blogger wrote of the move to have a woman on American currency, with the move being to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. In an online competition, abolitionist and runaway slave Harriet Tubman won out over Eleanor Roosevelt and Rosa Parks.

All well and good, but now the Treasury Department is proposing to replace Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill, rather than Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill.

Such an action would be totally wrong, as Hamilton is the founder of our national banking system, the most important economic figure in American history, and also the founder of a viewpoint in government—a belief in a strong national government, and a broad interpretation of the Constitution—-which in his time was considered to be “conservatism”, but in the past century since Franklin D. Roosevelt, has been seen as the view of government of the modern Democratic Party, namely “liberalism.”

Liberalism, and the alternative word “progressivism” has been the backbone of all of the major political, social and economic reforms of the past century, and Hamilton’s philosophy is something that needs to continue to be honored.

On the other hand, Andrew Jackson, while regarded as one of the more significant Presidents, destroyed the Second National Bank of the United States, a major mistake; promoted slavery and condemned abolitionists; and promoted the death of thousands of native Americans in the despicable action, known as the “Trail of Tears”, the forced removal of five Indian tribes to Oklahoma, later taken away from native Americans, when oil was discovered in Tulsa in 1889.

Ben Bernanke, the former head of the Federal Reserve, has called for just what this blogger is proposing: leave Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill, and replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill!

The Proposal To Have A Woman Replace Andrew Jackson On The $20 Bill

A movement has developed to place a woman on the $20 bill, in place of Andrew Jackson, our 7th President, who is highly controversial for his support of slavery; condemnation of abolitionists; participation in gun duels that killed several rivals; and his mass forced migration of Native Americans from the Southeast to Oklahoma, infamously known as the “Trail of Tears” in the 1830s.

A contest was held on line, on the website womenon20s.org, and the result was that the following women were selected as possible candidates to replace Jackson:

Eleanor Roosevelt (First Lady and wife of FDR)
Harriet Tubman (Runaway slave and abolitionist)
Rosa Parks (Montgomery Bus Boycott)
Wilma Mankiller (Chief of Cherokee Nation)

The author would select Eleanor Roosevelt, although an alternative idea would be a portrait of both Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt, as FDR was the second or third greatest President in American History, and is only memorialized on the dime.

A portrait of the two Roosevelts would be an excellent way to commemorate the greatest First Couple in the history of the nation!

PS–Since this entry yesterday, the organization has counted the votes, and Harriet Tubman is the winner, instead of Eleanor Roosevelt, so congratulations on that, and Tubman would represent the idea of a woman on the $20 bill very well, but it is up to the Treasury Department if such a change in our currency takes place!

As Rosa Parks Statue Is Unveiled In The US Capitol, Voting Rights Act Comes Under Review By Supreme Court!

This morning, a 9 foot statue of Rosa Parks, the “Mother” of the Civil Rights Movement, for her heroism in allowing herself to become the center of the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955-1956, was unveiled in Statuary Hall in the US Capitol Building.

This is a wonderful event to commemorate the greatest human rights movement in American history, and the excitement over how far we have come, with President Barack Obama leading in commemorating the event, and the feeling of satisfaction that we have gone far enough in the half century since 1955, that we have an African American President in his second term in office!

But at the same time, ironically, a challenge by the state of Alabama, which arrested Rosa Parks for refusing to change her seat on a bus in Montgomery, is arguing a case before the Supreme Court today, which if successful, will negate Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which requires nine Southern states and portions of seven other states, which have been shown to be discriminatory in voting regulations in their past, to have to submit any voting law changes to the Justice Department before they can be put into effect.

The argument is that the law is outmoded and no longer necessary, but that is not the case, as last year, there were attempts in many states to make it more difficult for African Americans, Hispanics and Latinos, young people, the elderly, and the poor to be able to register and or vote, plus restrictive days and hours of voting, designed to help Republicans and Mitt Romney gain an unfair advantage in the elections.

Just because Alabama claims the law is no longer needed is belied by history and recent events, and the Congress has renewed the Voting Rights Act multiple times, and it should not be the right of the Supreme Court to repeal a law in effect for nearly a half century!

But this conservative Court just might do that, which would be a miscarriage of justice, and another example of how the Court has started to get out of control of promotion of true justice! Their decision on this case, along with the move to make Citizens United just the beginning of special interest investments to fix elections, and the gay marriage case, will make the Court’s decisions in the next few months extremely significant, and worrisome for those who believe the John Roberts Court is reckless and dangerous, with its conservative majority put on it by Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush!

Centennial Of Rosa Parks’ Birth

Today is the centennial of the birth of Rosa Parks, an ordinary African American woman who changed the course of history, when she was arrested in 1955 for refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus to a white patron.

What Rosa Parks did sparked the true development of the civil rights movement in America, after many false starts and earlier Supreme Court decisions had failed to bring about enough public attention.

The courage and determination of Rosa Parks helped to bring the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. into public attention, as he led the Montgomery bus boycott, which began the fight against segregation in all public places, and led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 eight and a half years later.

Parks was memorialized upon her death in 2005, and given the honor of having her body lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, DC, and a statue of Parks was commissioned for the Statuary Hall in the Capitol.

So on the centennial of her birth, this is a moment to celebrate in the long struggle for human freedom and dignity in America!

An Inspiring Moment: Barack Obama At Henry Ford Museum Sitting In Rosa Parks Montgomery Bus

Yesterday, while campaigning in Michigan, President Barack Obama visited the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, and sat in the seat of the bus that Rosa Parks sat in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955, leading to the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the opening salvo of the civil rights movement in America!

It brought back the courage and principle of Rosa Parks, who was arrested, leading to the year long boycott led by the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who came from Atlanta, Georgia at age 26 to promote the cause.

This was one of the best photo opportunities involving President Obama in three years plus in public office, and it reminds us that the battle for civil rights is a never ending battle with no final victories, and requires our determination and stubbornness to make progress in the direction of human rights!