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Last Updated: Friday, 28 October 2005, 21:47 GMT 22:47 UK
Rosa Parks set to lie in honour
Rosa Parks after her arrest in 1955
Parks was arrested and charged for violating segregation laws
The body of civil rights icon Rosa Parks is to lie in honour in the US Capitol Rotunda - the first time that a woman has received the tribute.

The House of Representatives has approved the decision following a vote by the US Senate a day earlier.

The Senate resolution said the honour should allow US citizens "to pay their last respects to this great American."

The body of Mrs Parks, who died at her Detroit home on Tuesday aged 92, will lie in honour on Sunday and Monday.

Allowing Mrs Parks to lie in honour here is a testament to the impact of her life on both our nation's history and future.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist

Her 1955 refusal to give up her seat to a white man on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, prompted a mass black boycott of buses, organised by Baptist minister Martin Luther King Jr.

Mrs Parks' actions inspired the mass movement which culminated in the 1964 Civil Rights Act and an end to segregation.

'Brave act'

Lying in honour is a tribute usually reserved for presidents and soldiers.

Mrs Parks will be the first woman and only the second black American to receive the accolade.

Presidents Ronald Reagan, Abraham Lincoln, John F Kennedy are among the US leaders to have received the honour.

File photograph of Rosa Parks in 1999
Mrs Parks' protest inspired a generation of activists

World War II General Douglas MacArthur and the bodies of several unknown soldiers have also been given the tribute.

"Rosa Parks' brave and simple act ignited a movement that rewove America's social fabric," Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said.

"Allowing Mrs Parks to lie in honour here is a testament to the impact of her life on both our nation's history and future."

On Friday, more than 500 people attended a memorial service for Mrs Parks in Montgomery, where her body is lying in repose.

After a memorial service in Washington on Monday night, her body will be moved to the Charles H Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit where it will lie in repose ahead of her funeral on Wednesday.

Detroit and Montgomery said the first seats of their buses would be reserved until Mrs Parks' funeral as a tribute to her legacy.

Mrs Parks was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1996, and the Congressional Gold Medal, the nation's highest civilian honour, three years later.

Watch Rev Jesse Jackson pay tribute to Rosa Parks

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