She didn’t know it at the time but December 1, 1955 would be the day that would put her name in history books. That was the day when Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger.
Her act of resistance that day unleashed a movement that helped to end legal segregation in the U.S., and cemented her as the “mother of the civil rights movement.” But Parks didn’t become an activist that day. She already had a long history of fighting for justice, including being an active member of Montgomery, Alabama’s NAACP chapter since 1943.
In honor of what would be her 104th birthday on Saturday, here’s a look at some lesser known facts about Parks’ life before she became a public figure.