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Rosa Parks’ Dress, 1955

Michael Barnes, Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture

Michael Barnes, Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture

Rosa Parks’ Dress, 1955

Though Rosa Parks is best known for her role as a civil rights activist, the Alabama native also worked as a seamstress at the Montgomery Fair department store. She was on her way home from work Dec. 1, 1955, when she was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on the bus to a white passenger. At the time, she was working on the dress above, which was intended for personal use. The mustard and gray shawl-collar dress featured a crossover front bodice with a floral and leaf pattern printed on viscose fabric.

This object is one of 137 million artifacts, works of art and specimens in the Smithsonian’s collection. This object is not on display.

 

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