At a time when interest in civil rights memorabilia is rekindled, a lifetime’s worth of Rosa Parks’ belongings — among them her Presidential Medal of Freedom — sits in a New York warehouse, unseen and unsold.

Parks’ archives could be worth millions, especially now that 50th anniversaries of the civil rights era are being celebrated and the hunt is on for artifacts to fill a new Smithsonian museum of African-American history. But a years-long legal fight between Parks’ heirs and her friends led to the memorabilia being taken away from her home city of Detroit and offered up to the highest bidder.

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