The One Percenters

Issue 4 and Volume 164.

By Bobby Halton The Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) is the home of the “one percenters” of our profession: the hard-core professional firefighters—dedicated, passionate trainers and teachers. Teachers love history. Most of us think we have a good grasp on history, especially history that has occurred during our lifetimes. We all remember December 1, 1955, as the day that Rosa Parks became the first black woman to refuse to sit in the back of the bus. But was she? Most Americans have always thought that Rosa Parks was the first female to refuse to give up her seat, but in reality Parks was not the first. Eight months earlier, 15-year-old Claudette Colvin refused to give up her seat on a city bus and was arrested; a few weeks earlier, Mary Louise Smith was arrested for the same offense. During the 1950s, Montgomery City required black riders to enter the bus,…

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