Throughout history there have been many acts of selflessness. While some of these acts are subjectively selfless, some resonate in most people's hearts as tremendous acts of bravery where one person sacrificed his own safety for the well-being of a group.
The 20th century provided many examples of heroic selflessness. The rise of communication, technology and the media helped make famous people who acted as martyrs or at least risked their own safety to promote a cause.
The African-American civil rights movement rose many people to prominence, but two of the most selfless acts during the era were Rosa Parks' refusal to move to the back of a bus and Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. Parks' refusal to move was incredibly selfless because it defied the established law of the South, according to the Matador Network. Being an African-American woman put her in a dangerous situation when she executed her protest, but the symbolism and resulting publicity of the action led to much more awareness about the problem. King's speech dared to call out the racism that was so ingrained in the country at the time, and he did this in Washington, D.C., the home of American politics and policy.
Another example of selflessness is Mahatma Ghandi's hunger strike to protest British occupation of India. Ghandi's use of nonviolent protest inspired millions at the time, and he continues to be a legendary example of a selfless person.