Yellowing court records from the arrests of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. and others at the dawn of the modern civil rights era are being preserved and digitized after being discovered, folded and wrapped in rubber bands, in a courthouse box.
Archivists at historically black Alabama State University are cataloguing and flattening dozens of documents found at the Montgomery County Courthouse, and Circuit Clerk Tiffany McCord hopes electronic versions will be available for viewing as early as late June.
Once the records are added to Alabama’s online court system, historians and others will be able to read the original pleadings filed by Parks’ attorneys following her refusal to give her seat to a white man on a Montgomery city bus on Dec. 1, 1955.
Parks’ arrest led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which launched a young King to prominence as a civil rights leader while the Atlanta-born pastor was working at his first church in downtown Montgomery. Read more…