MONTGOMERY - While most eyes were focused on the city of Selma and the Edmund Pettis Bridge this weekend in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday," a museum highlighting another milestone event in the Civil Rights Movement was also receiving attention.
Troy University's Rosa Parks Museum hosted a pair of events in conjunction with the weekend commemoration, beginning on Friday night with a red-carpet 50th anniversary reception presented by Hyundai. Bernice King, daughter of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Civil Rights attorney Fred Gray, Tuskegee Mayor Johnnie Ford, Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange and Hyundai Motor America President and CEO Dave Zuchowski and Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama President Jun Ha Kim were among those in attendance at the reception, which featured the theme: "51 Miles Forward."
Zuchowski presented a $10,000 check on behalf of Hyundai Motor America to Troy University Trustee Lamar P. Higgins to allow for free tours to be held at the museum throughout the day on Saturday.
On Sunday, the museum hosted members of Congress and their families for tours as a part of the 2015 Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage of The Faith and Politics Institute. Nearly 100 members of Congress, led by Georgia Rep. John Lewis, took part in the annual pilgrimage that featured stops at Civil Rights sites in Montgomery, Birmingham and Selma.
South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott toured the museum after pausing to be interviewed by "Face the Nation," a Sunday morning news show on CBS. In a Tweet about the experience, Scott called his visit a "powerful morning at the Rosa Parks Museum."
California Rep. Nancy Pelosi also toured the museum, pausing for a photo beside the bronze statue of Rosa Parks seated on a bus bench.
Following the tours of the museum and the Children's Wing, pilgrimage participants boarded their buses for the short drive to a Faith and Politics event at the Alabama Capitol.
This year also marks the 60th anniversary of the beginning of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. On Dec. 1, 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a public bus to a white man. Parks' arrest and conviction prompted an organized boycott of the city bus line that lasted 381 days.
Troy University's Rosa Parks Museum, which opened in 2000, sits at the site of Park's arrest.
Hyundai Motor America donated $10,000 to Troy University's Rosa Parks Museum on Friday, March 6, during Hyundai's "51 Miles Forward" reception honoring the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery March held at the Museum. The donation enabled the museum to offer free admission on Saturday. Pictured left to right are David Zuchowski, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hyundai Motor America; Troy University Trustee Lamar P. Higgins; and Jun Ha Kim, President and CEO of Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama.
South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott is interview by CBS's "Face the Nation" in front of Troy University's Rosa Parks Museum in Montgomery on Sunday. Following the interview, Scott toured the museum as a part of the Faith and Politics Civil Rights Pilgrimage, calling the visit a "powerful morning."