In the states of Missouri and California, February 4 is observed as Rosa Parks Day, the the 109th anniversary of the birth of a pioneer in the civil rights movement.

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But, if all you know about Rosa Parks is that one day in 1955 she refused to give up her seat on a bus, read on.

In a 2013 article at, they point out a number of things you may not know about Rosa Parks.

Her refusal to give up her seat to a white man on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama was by no means the first sign of activism by this 42 year old department store clerk.

At the time of her arrest, Parks was the secretary of  the local NAACP chapter, which she had joined 12 years before.

Also in 1943, Parks was thrown off a bus for not getting on through the back door after paying her fare at the front. The bus driver that day was James Blake, the same man who was driving the bus in 1955 when Parks was arrested.

In fact, after her first encounter with Blake, Parks had made it a point to not get on a bus that he was driving, and just wasn't paying attention that day in '55.

The outcry after Parks' arrest led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which led to a Supreme Court ruling declaring Alabama laws requiring segregated transit buses unconstitutional.

Rosa Parks' husband and mother moved to Detroit two years later, working for a time as an administrative aide for Congressman John Conyers, Jr.

Parks died in 2005 at age 92. She became the first woman to lie in honor in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol, where more than 30,000 people filed past her coffin to pay their respects.

LOOK: Here are the biggest HBCUs in America

More than 100 historically Black colleges and universities are designated by the U.S. Department of Education, meeting the definition of a school "established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans."

StudySoup compiled the 20 largest historically Black colleges and universities in the nation, based on 2021 data from the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics. Each HBCU on this list is a four-year institution, and the schools are ranked by the total student enrollment.

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