Rosa Parks Google Doodle Celebrates The Birth Of The U.S. Civil Rights Movement (PICTURE)

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On Wednesday, the Google homepage featured a special "doodle" celebrating the courage of Rosa Parks, a woman whose refusal to yield to institutionalized racism inspired a social movement that forever changed the United States.

In 1955, Rosa Parks lived in Alabama, where black citizens were subjugated by the oppressive Jim Crow laws that enforced racial segregation and designated "separate but equal" facilities for blacks and whites.

Public transportation was also segregated under Jim Crow. But on December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks boarded a bus and sat in the "white only" section of the bus. When asked to move, she refused. "[S]he was tired of being humiliated, of having to adapt to the byzantine rules, some codified as law and others passed on as tradition, that reinforced the position of blacks as something less than full human beings," writes the New York Times.

The Times also describes the events that followed Ms. Parks's bold choice:

For her act of defiance, Mrs. Parks was arrested, convicted of violating the segregation laws and fined $10, plus $4 in court fees. In response, blacks in Montgomery boycotted the buses for nearly 13 months while mounting a successful Supreme Court challenge to the Jim Crow law that enforced their second-class status on the public bus system.

The events that began on that bus in the winter of 1955 captivated the nation and transformed a 26-year-old preacher named Martin Luther King Jr. into a major civil rights leader.

Take a look at the Google doodle(below), which features children next to a bus styled after the very one that Rosa Parks famously boarded in 55 years ago.