Governor Bill Lee declares Dec. 1 as ‘Rosa Parks Day’

Governor Bill Lee declares Dec. 1 as ‘Rosa Parks Day’

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Known for her courage and bravery, Rosa Parks will now be permanently honored in Tennessee.

"I think the tone is great. I think the time is right. People respect her tremendously," said Representative Karen Camper.

Governor Bill Lee proclaimed Dec. 1 as Rosa Parks Day. On Sunday, he visited the National Civil Rights Museum ahead of an event honoring Parks and other trail blazers.

On this day, 64 years ago, Parks was arrested after refusing to move to the back of a city bus.

"It's important that we recognize folks who have made major contributions for civil rights in this country," said Gov. Lee.

Senator Reumesh Akbari says she and Camper pushed for this proclamation after a similar resolution was proposed in Alabama.

"Because Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus. Taking a stand by sitting down it's made all the difference for us and folks in Memphis and future generations," said Akbari.

Earlier this year, Governor Lee received criticism after he declared July 13 Nathan Bedford Forrest Day. Forrest was a Confederate general and leader of the Ku Klux Klan.

At the time, a spokesperson told WMC Tennessee governors are required to issue a series of proclamations each year, including Nathan Bedford Forrest Day.

"Whenever we can make proclamations about inspiring individuals who are to be celebrated and someone that is celebrated by everyone, that's the kind of thing we need to be doing in this state," said Lee.

Over in Montgomery, Alabama, a new statue was unveiled in honor of Rosa Parks, this weekend.

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