Woolworth's (Greensboro, N.C.)

Location: 132 South Elm St., Greensboro, N.C.
Significance: The Greensboro Four set off a chain-reaction of sit-ins here

On February 1, 1960, four North Carolina A&T students—Joseph McNeil, Franklin McCain, Ezell Blair, Jr. (later known as Jibreel Khazan), and David Richmond—sat down at the lunch counter of the Woolworth's in Greensboro. The young men, whose actions would earn them the name "the Greensboro Four," ordered coffee at the "whites only" counter. The staff followed store policy and refused to serve them; the manager asked them to leave. In response, they stayed until the store was closed. More protesters joined the sit-in each day until it expanded to other cities in North Carolina, and then to Richmond, Virginia and Nashville, Tennessee. The chain reaction led to the desegregation of many lunch counters, and the actions of the original four even gained the sympathy of President Eisenhower. The Woolworth's in Greensboro now serves as the International Civil Rights Center and Museum, which opened on February 1, 2010 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the original sit in. A section of the famous counter now resides at the Smithsonian in D.C.