On December 1, 1955, after working all day and waiting in line for a bus seat, Rosa Parks boarded the bus, taking her seat in the assigned “Colored Section.” As the bus became over-run with white passengers, the bus driver, James F, Blake, approached Rosa Parks, asking her to give up her own seat. The driver demanded that “Coloreds” move back and changed the normal seating section to fall behind where Rosa was sitting that day.
The first hint of a supernatural occurrence is here when Rosa is said to have commented that she “had a determination wash over her like a warm quilt" and refused to move.
Regardless of the fact that Blake said she would be arrested and called the police on her,
Rosa stood her ground and refused to move.
What must it have been like on the bus that day?
Blake is angry and his face turns red at the very thought that a 'Negro' would refuse his orders and directions on 'HIS' bus. White passengers look on, filled with contempt and disgust that they would be held up so long by Rosa's refusal to 'Obey' a white man’s demands -- after all who the hell did she think she was?
Other colored passengers simply scrambled, relinquishing their seats as ordered. Not liking it, but resigned to the state of oppression in their lives, a feeling of 'here-we-go-again' washing over them, anger and hate following close behind. Worry covers their faces as they watch the young Rosa Parks stand her ground and refuse to budge. The looks quickly replaced with fear as the police are called to the bus and the officers lead Rosa away in handcuffs.
Ok, now we are there mentally and emotionally on the bus that December day. Get my drift?
So intense was that day that it is still reported that grown men will break down and weep if they visit the bus today.
The second Supernatural occurrence is the fact that after the bus stopped running, the owners wanted it scrapped, but it never was. They never got over the events of that day and still harbored anger towards Rosa and what she did. So along with it they 'hated' the bus. It reminded them of the money they lost during the events of a boycott which followed Rosa's stand.
When learning of the bus’s fate, a friend of the station manager Roy H Summerford managed to convince the owners to sell him the bus. Somehow Summerford just knew that not now, but in the future, this bus would be very important.
Event # 3: In the winter of 1970, despite being told that the bus would never run again, after only a half hour of work Summerford was able to fix and start the bus. It was a rocky ride to get it to his place but he did make it after 3 more quick fixes to get it and keep it running.
Fearing for the destruction of the bus and realizing the time was not yet right, Summerford cared for and hid the bus for a long time to keep it intact and free from vandalism.
In 1985, Roy Summerford died, leaving the bus to his daughter Vivian Summerford Williams.
Sometime around 1990, a local Montgomery newspaper found out about the bus and its location printing a write up and included pictures of it.
The Ku Klux Klan not only tried to set the bus on fire but repeatedly riddled it with bullet holes. It was very hard then for Vivian and her family to keep the bus safe. Time was getting closer to when the bus would need to come into the open and be placed into a museum where it belonged.
Mrs. Williams decided to have the bus authenticated and auctioned by Robert Lifson, president of Mastronet Inc. The time was at hand for the world to be given back 'The Bus'. Was it necessity because keeping it had become so hard now? Or was it because unforeseen forces pushed events to make it the right time?The announcement for the Internet auction was placed in a September 2001 edition of the Wall Street Journal. The bus was scheduled for the block then in October of 2001.
The high bidder and winner of the bus was the Henry Ford Museum, paying a total price of $427,919.00.
Once under the safe care, the Rosa Parks bus was completely restored – some may say a little too well, bringing back memories of those turbulent times.
Deb Haunted Vehicles Archives
General Motors Corp. records show that bus Serial Number 1132 was produced in Pontiac, Michigan, in March 1948.
It was a TDH-3610 or Transit Diesel Hydraulic Transmission, 36 passenger, Model 10 delivered to the National City Lines of Chicago, Illinois.
NCL records indicate the bus was given Coach #2857 and delivered to Terre Haute, Indiana. In 1954 it was transferred from Terre Haute to Montgomery, Alabama.
Some content and pictures are courtesy of Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn Michigan. Other resources come from various internet sources and are the sole property of those individuals.
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