63 years ago, Rosa Parks stood up for civil rights by sitting down

(CNN)It was on this day in 1955 when a simple act of defiance elevated a seamstress in Montgomery, Alabama, into a pivotal symbol in America's civil rights movement.

On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of a city bus. Little did the 42-year-old know that her act would help end segregation laws in the South.
She was on her way home from work that evening and took a seat in the front of the black section of a city bus in Montgomery.
The bus filled up, and the bus driver demanded she move so a white male passenger could have her seat.