Rosa Parks to lie in honor at Capitol





Rosa Parks, the seamstress whose act of defiance on a public bus a half-century ago helped spark the modern U.S. civil rights movement, will join presidents and war heroes who have been honored in death with a public viewing in the Capitol Rotunda.

Parks would be the first woman and second black American to receive the accolade. Jacob J. Chestnut, one of two Capitol police officers fatally shot in 1998, was the first black American to lie in honor, said Senate historian Richard Baker.

Parks also would be the second non-governmental official to be commemorated that way. The remains of Pierre L'Enfant _ the French-born architect who was responsible for the design of Washington, D.C. _ stopped at the Capitol in 1909, long after his death in 1825.

"Rosa Parks is not just a national hero, she is the embodiment of our social and human conscience and the spark that lit the flame of liberty and equality for African Americans and minority groups in this country and around the globe," said Sen. Christopher Dodd, a Democrat.

Officials with the Rosa & Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development in Detroit said at one point that Parks would lie in repose at the Lincoln Memorial. The National Park Service, however, said those plans were never formalized.

Lila Cabbil, the institute's president emeritus, said Thursday the information was released prematurely and the foundation and the Parks family were working with Congressional Democrats John Conyers and Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick and the White House to make arrangements to have a viewing in Washington.


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