One of the really cool things that they have at the Henry Ford museum in Dearborn, Michigan, is the bus on which Rosa Parks took her famous stand. Or sit, rather.
Yesterday, President Barack Obama, another African American to break down barriers and make history, sat on that same bus and was photographed by White House photographer Pete Souza:
How cool is that?
Later that evening at a private fundraiser, the President said:
I actually had the chance to sit in Rosa Parks’ bus. I just sat there for a moment and pondered the courage and tenacity that is part of our very recent history, but is also a part of that long line of folks — sometimes nameless, oftentimes didn’t make the history books — but who constantly insisted on their dignity, their stake in the American Dream.
By the way, that bus has an interesting story after its day in history:
The Henry Ford Museum acquired the bus in 2001 from an online auction, and has displayed it ever since. Before the museum acquired it, the bus had been sitting in the backyard of a Montgomery resident who purchased it from the Montgomery City Bus Lines Resident in the 1970s.
Historians were able to verify that it was the same bus where Parks refused to give up her seat — and was subsequently arrested — by using the serial number and coach identification number.
Parks settled in Detroit after the Montgomery Bus Boycotts and lived in the city until her death in 2005.