At the bus stop on this site on December 1, 1955, Mrs. Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to boarding whites. This brought about her arrest, conviction, and fine. The Boycott began December 5, the day of Parks' trial, as a protest by African - Americans for unequal treatment they received on the bus line. Refusing to ride the buses, they maintained the Boycott until the U. S. Supreme Court ordered integration of public transportation one year later. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led the Boycott, the beginning of the modern Civil Rights Movement.
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In 1938, young country singer Hank Williams won a contest on the stage of the Empire Theatre. Born in Butler County, south of Montgomery, on September 17, 1923, Williams learned to play the guitar and sing on the streets of Georgiana. Writing songs and performing, he made his way to Nashville, where in 1949 his "Lovesick Blues" stopped the show at the Grand Ole Opry. Other acclaimed composition include "Your Cheatin" Heart", "Jambalaya", and "Kaw-Liga". Williams died on January 1, 1953, and is buried in Montgomery's Oakwood Annex Cemetery.