Because that was the day when the black community of Montgomery, Alabama, launched its boycott of the city's buses. Five days after the arrest of Rosa Parks, when she refused to give up her seat to a white man, the Montgomery Improvement Association was established, with Martin Luther King as its president, to coordinate a nonviolent campaign against segregation on public transport. The boycott lasted for a little over a year before victory was achieved in a landmark court case.
'The bus protest carried on by the coloured people of Montgomery, Alabama, without violence, has been one of the most remarkable achievements of people fighting for their own rights but doing so without bloodshed and with the most remarkable restraint and discipline, that we have ever witnessed in this country. It is something all of us should be extremely proud of for its achievement by Americans which has rarely before been seen' - Eleanor Roosevelt