Montgomery, Alabama was just named the Most Historical City by USA Today’s Readers Choice Poll.  It certainly should be on the short list if not the winner.  They have played a central role in the “Civil War to Civil Rights.”

I was surprised to see all the places in the city that had national significance.  The first White House of the Confederacy where Jefferson Davis lived.  The Greyhound Bus Terminal that was the site of the Freedom Rides. The church where Martin Luther King, Jr. was pastor.  The steps of the capitol where Governor George C. Wallace preached his “I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever” litany.  The bridge site of Bloody Sunday in the voter registration march to Selma.

And, of course, where Rosa Parks refused to get off the bus which became the motivation for the Montgomery Bus Boycotts.  The site where Rosa got on the bus is marked with a plaque, and fortunately where she chose not to yield her seat is also publicly noted.  

Troy University purchased the land on that famous corner, with the intent of making into a parking garage.  Fortunately, the leadership realized that it would be far better utilized as a Rosa Parks Museum, and that is what it is today.  The Greyhound Bus Depot was set for demolition but instead became a Freedom Riders Museum.  

Is there hallowed ground in your community that you should work to preserve?  Public places that have played a role in making your organization, your city or you what you are today?  Sometimes just having people stand in the same place as history can shape the future.  Think about how you can influence tomorrow by the decisions you make about yesterday.

— beth triplett

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