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National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

F.W. Woolworth Building

The International Civil Rights Center and Museum

Greensboro, North Carolina

On February 1, 1960, when four freshmen from the Agricultural and Technical College of NC took seats at the store's "whites-only" lunch counter, they had no idea what might happen. The waitress ignored them, as did the store manager and a pacing policeman. The next day, the four young men returned with 19 supporters. By the third day, the number had risen to 85 and before the week was out, there were 400. Inspired, other students staged smaller sit-ins in seven other NC cities as well as in Hampton, VA, and Nashville, TN. The movement these four men started became so important that their original four seats became a featured display in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, and the F. W. Woolworth Building received a $148,152 Save America’s Treasures grant in 2004. The building currently houses the International Civil Rights Center and Museum, which commemorates the struggle for civil rights.

Photo: The International Civil Rights Center and Museum
– Courtesy International Civil Rights Center and Museum

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