Rosa Parks smiles during a Capitol Hill ceremony where Parks was honored with the Congressional Gold Medal in Washington, D.C., on June 15, 1999.
Khue Bui—AP
By Associated Press
November 30, 2019

(MONTGOMERY, Ala.) — A new statue of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks will be unveiled Sunday in downtown Montgomery.

The statue will be unveiled at 1 p.m. at Montgomery Plaza at the Court Street Fountain, the city of Montgomery announced.

The unveiling coincides with the anniversary of Parks’ historic Dec. 1, 1955 arrest for refusing to give up her seat on a public bus to a white man. Her arrest sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement.

The statue will be placed approximately 30 feet from the spot where Parks is believed to have boarded the bus, said Ashley Ledbetter, executive director of the Montgomery Area Business Committee for the Arts.

Along with the Parks memorial, there will be four granite markers to honor the four women who served as plaintiffs in Browder v. Gayle – the landmark case that ruled segregation on Montgomery buses unconstitutional, Ledbetter said.

Aurelia Browder, Mary Louise Smith, Susie McDonald and Claudette Colvin will be honored with the markers.

The civil rights memorials are a partnership between the City of Montgomery, Montgomery County, the Alabama Department of Tourism and the Montgomery Area Business Committee for the Arts.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed are among those speaking at the unveiling. Reed made history earlier this year when he was elected as the city’s first African American mayor.

Alabama lawmakers in 2018 voted to name Dec. 1 as Mrs. Rosa L. Parks Day in the state.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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