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Rosa Parks Bus
The Story Behind the Bus
Save America's Treasures Grant Supports Bus Restoration
Chronology of Civil Rights Movement
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How did the museum acquire the bus?

In September 2001, an article in the Wall Street Journal announced that the Rosa Parks bus would be available in an Internet auction in October.

Museum staff began researching this opportunity. They spoke to people involved in the original 1955 events, to those who planned other museum exhibits, and to historians. A forensic document examiner was hired to see if the scrapbook was authentic. A museum conservator went to Montgomery to personally examine the bus. Convinced that this was the Rosa Parks bus, the Museum's leadership decided to bid on the bus in the Internet auction.

The museum entered the auction of October 25, 2001, and was the high bidder at $427,919. The other final bidders for the bus, both of whom were convinced of its authenticity, were the Smithsonian Institution and the city of Denver, Colorado.

At the same time, the Museum successfully bid on the Montgomery City Bus Lines scrapbook of newspaper articles with the Rosa Parks bus identified in two places. It also purchased a Montgomery City bus driver's uniform offered for sale by a retired employee who had started working for the company in 1954.


Copyright © 2002 The Henry Ford