Greensboro sit-in Lunch Counter
This 4-seat section of what used to be the “Whites Only” lunch counter from the Woolworth department store in Greensboro, North Carolina, is part of the Civil Rights history that was made in 1960.
It is at this lunch counter where four African American students sat down and were refused service when they asked for a cup of coffee.
Following store policy, the Lunch Counter staff refused to serve the African American men at the “whites only” counter, and the store manager asked them to leave.
The four freshmen stayed until the store closed that night. The next day and the following days, more African American students joined the sit-ins.
With national publicity, the sit-in movement then spread to other Southern cities and lasted for nearly six months from February 1 – July 25, 1960.
Students also began a boycott of stores with segregated lunch counters, and sales dropped by a third, leading their owners to abandon the segregation policies soon after. Most shops were eventually desegregated.
Over 70,000 people took part in the sit-ins. Sit-ins protested segregation at swimming pools, libraries, transportation, museums, art galleries, parks, and beaches.
The media picked up this issue and covered the Sit-ins nationwide. By highlighting such practices, the students played a significant part in the history of the Civil Rights Movement.
The Greensboro sit-ins were not the first sit-in of the Civil Rights Movement. However, the Greensboro sit-ins were the most famous and widely publicized sit-ins.
The Greensboro, North Carolina, Woolworth store, is now the International Civil Rights Center and Museum, where the rest of the Lunch Counter sits on display.
Greensboro sit-in Lunch Counter
- Title: Greensboro sit-in Lunch Counter
- Original location: Woolworth, 132 South Elm Street, Greensboro, North Carolina
- Event Date: February 1, 1960
- Museum: National Museum of American History
Reflections on the Greensboro Lunch Counter
A Tour of the National Museum of American History
- Star-Spangled Banner Flag
- “George Washington” by Horatio Greenough
- John Bull Locomotive
- Greensboro sit-in Lunch Counter
- USS Philadelphia – 1776 Gunboat
1st February 1960: Start of the Greensboro sit-ins to protest segregation
Join the Greensboro Sit-ins
A Tour of Washington, D.C. Museums
- National Gallery of Art
- National Museum of American History
- National Air and Space Museum
- National Museum of African American History and Culture
- National Museum of Natural History
- National Portrait Gallery
- Smithsonian American Art Museum
- The Phillips Collection
- Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
- International Spy Museum
- National Museum of Women in the Arts
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Greensboro Lunch Counter
How a Lunch Counter Sit-In Became an Iconic Civil Rights Moment
Sit-in training, Greensboro lunch counter, National Museum of American History
The Butler -Sit in Scene
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
– Martin Luther King
Photo Credit: User:RadioFan [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons