Buffett's Son Buys Rosa Parks Items, Will Donate Them

Collection includes hat she may have worn on famous bus ride
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 29, 2014 11:16 AM CDT
Buffett's Son Buys Rosa Parks Items, Will Donate Them
Rosa Parks' Presidential Medal of Freedom, left, and her Congressional Gold Medal.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

(Newser) – One lucky museum will be getting a treasure trove in the form of hundreds of items belonging to civil rights icon Rosa Parks. A foundation run by Howard Buffett, son of Warren, has purchased the items—including a postcard from Martin Luther King Jr. and a hat Parks may have worn when she made history for refusing to give up her bus seat in Montgomery, Alabama—and intends to donate them to a soon-to-be-chosen museum or institution. "I thought about doing what Rosa Parks would want," Buffett tells the AP. "I'm only trying to do one thing: preserve what's there for the public's benefit."

The collection of more than 1,000 items also includes clothing, lamps, and Parks' Presidential Medal of Freedom. All have been gathering dust in a New York warehouse as family and friends battled over Parks' will. "I doubt that she would want to have her stuff sitting in a box with people fighting over them," says Buffett. He didn't disclose what he paid, but an attorney for Parks' heirs says the price was $4.5 million. In less-happy news, copper thieves this week ransacked the Alabama apartment where Parks lived, the AP reports separately. (Read more Rosa Parks stories.)

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