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Legacies: Collecting America's History at the Smithsonian, by Steven Lubar and Kathleen M. Kendrick
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Woolworth's lunch counter, Greensboro, North Carolina, site of a 1960 civil rights sit-in

One of the most significant protests of the civil rights movement took place at this lunch counter. On February 1, 1960, four African American students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College sat at this "whites only" lunch counter, asked to be served, and, when they were not, refused to leave. The sit-in and boycott of the store lasted six months and was the focus of national publicity. On July 25 the lunch counter was desegregated, a victory for the civil rights movement. The closing of the Greensboro Woolworth's in 1993 presented curators with the opportunity to acquire this historic artifact. After extensive negotiations with Woolworth's executives and representatives of the local community, a small piece of the lunch counter was donated to the Smithsonian.

See also: African American History, Civil Rights Movement, Political Protest, Popular Objects

Woolworth's lunch counter, Greensboro, North Carolina, site of a 1960 civil rights sit-in

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