President George W. Bush signed H.R. 4145, a bill that will place a statue of Rosa Parks in the U.S. Capitol, on Dec. 1. Parks will be the first black woman to be honored with a statue in the nations Capitol.
Rep Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL.), Sen. John Kerry (D-MS), Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN) sponsored the bill in a symbolic measure to keep the memory, the accomplishments and the bravery of Rosa Parks alive.
Laura Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Secretary Alphonso Jackson, President and CEO of the NAACP, Bruce Gordon, Dr. Dorothy Height and members of Rosa Parks’s family attended the signing of the bill.
“It is fitting that this American hero will now be honored with a monument inside the most visible symbol of American democracy. We hope that generations of Americans will remember what this brave woman did, and be inspired to add their own contributions to the unfolding story of American freedom for all,” said Bush at the signing of the bill.
Congress passed the bill on Nov. 18. The Dec. 1 signing of the bill marks the 50th anniversary of Parks act of civil disobedience.
The bill gives the Capitol Architect’s office two years to obtain a statue and calls for it to be placed in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall.
In a statement released Nov. 18, Rep. Jackson said he was pleased that Congress acted promptly to pass his legislation that places a life-size statue of Rosa Parks in such a prestigious, prominent, and permanent location in the United States Capitol.
“This is a fitting tribute to an American heroine whose act of courage and dignity helped to transform the country," said Jackson.