On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks changed the course of history when she refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on bus in Montgomery, Ala. Her action sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott which would eventually lead to the end of legally segregated public transportation. For many Americans, that makes Parks the civil rights icon they love to love: the unassuming seamstress who, supposedly, just got tired one day and unwittingly launched the modern civil rights movement.
The two civilians killed in a shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic Friday were Ke'Arre Stewart, a father of two and Army veteran who served in Iraq, and Jennifer Markovsky, a mother of two who was reportedly at the clinic to support a friend.
Today I was thinking about something one of the Freedom Riders told me a few years ago, when I had the opportunity — the privilege — to interview a group of them. Remember, these were the courageous men and women, both black and white, who rode the Southern bus routes for seven months in 1961 — facing vicious beatings, fire bombs, arrests and jail — all to draw attention to the fact that public facilities were still segregated despite the passage of laws saying it should be otherwise.
A controversial government surveillance program has come to an end. As of midnight, the United States National Security Agency has stopped the bulk collection of the metadata from Americans' phone calls.