Thursday, April 2, 2009
Dearborn, Michigan: The Henry Ford Museum
Rosa Parks was tired when she got on the above bus in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955. So when the African-American woman was told she had to move to the back of the bus for a white person, she refused. Parks was arrested at the end of her ride, the Montgomery bus boycott soon followed, and another spark for the civil rights revolution was lit.
Visitors to the Henry Ford Museum can get on this bus and sit in the very seat that Parks had that fateful day. Hopefully they'll remember her courage and dignity when they do.
Visitors also can see a large quantity of other exhibits in this large hall. You can see the actual limo used when John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Most people didn't know that the limo was altered and put back in service through the Carter Administration.
The Ford Museum used to have a reputation for being on the stuffy side. Yes, there were plenty of old cars and locomotives in it, but it was rather dry. The efforts to improve matters are working, happily, even if seeing a vial with Thomas Edison's last breath is still a little creepy.