1955 – Rosa Parks is arrested in Montgomery, Alabama

Rosa Parks was 42 years old and on her way home from work on a Thursday evening in Montogomery, Alabama. She was sitting in the front most row of seats for blacks, when the driver directed her to move back so that white passengers could sit there instead. She refused, and was shortly arrested.

Hers was not the first such act of civil disobedience against the racist laws of the United States at that time, but it was perhaps the most significant: from this spark grew the flame of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which would lead to the laws that Parks had been arrested under being struck down the following year by the Federal Court. Martin Luther King and others participated in this boycott, and the court decision marked the first major victory of the Civil Rights Movement, setting the stage for both the racial tensions and the legal reforms of the Sixties.

Referenced in:

Rosa Parks — OutKast

1967 – Jimi Hendrix releases “Castles Made Of Sand”

Jimi Hendrix’s brother Leon always claimed that the song was about their family – Jimi had told him so – but most people seem happier with the broader interpretation of the song as a meditation on the impermanence of all things, both good and bad.

Whatever the truth may be – and as with all art, isn’t the truth that works for you sufficient? – “Castles Made of Sand” was the second track on the second side of the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s second album. It was never released as a single, although it did become one of Hendrix’ more popular songs, and the album it was from “Axis: Bold as Love”, was ranked at 82 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list in 2003.

Referenced in:

That Says It All – Duncan Sheik