Rosa Parks was not sitting in the white-only section
No one can deny that Rosa Parks played a pivotal role in the Civil Rights movement by refusing to move to the back of the bus for being African American, but one can deny she was sitting in the whites-only section. Back on that late December day in 1955 Montgomery, Alabama, History.com confirms that Ms. Parks was actually sitting in the first row of the middle section for African Americans—the “colored” section. But when more passengers boarded, the bus became packed and a white man was left standing. The driver then demanded Parks and three other African American passengers move further back so this man could take their seats. As the story goes Rosa wouldn’t stand for it. Here are 15 more fascinating facts about America you never learned in school.
The Emancipation Proclamation only freed some slaves
If you thought this historical executive order put the final kibosh on slavery you’d be wrong. “Students think that it “freed the slaves,” but in reality it only applied to those areas still controlled by the Confederacy and so didn’t actually free the slaves directly,” explains William D. Carrigan, chair and professor of history at Rowan University. “What it did was allow the slaves to “free themselves” by running away to Union lines or the North (which between 500,000 and 700,000 did).” Carrigan explains that it was the 13th Amendment that actually put a final end to slavery. However, it wasn’t until December 1865, eight months after Lee surrendered to Grant at the Appomattox Courthouse, that the 13th Amendment was ratified.