Greensboro Lunch Counter

On February 1, 1960, four African American college students—Ezell A. Blair, Jr. (now Jibreel Khazan), Franklin E. McCain, Joseph A. McNeil, and David L. Richmond—sat down at this "whites only" lunch counter at the Woolworth's store in Greensboro, North Carolina, and politely asked for service. Their request was refused, and when asked to leave, the students remained in their seats in protest.
For the six months that followed, hundreds of students, civil rights organizations, churches, and members of the community joined the protest and boycotted the store. Their commitment ultimately led to the desegregation of the F.W. Woolworth lunch counter on July 25, 1960. Their peaceful sit-down was a watershed event in the struggle for civil rights and helped ignite a youth-led movement to challenge racial inequality throughout the South.
Object Name
F. W. Woolworth Co.
Physical Description
silver (overall color)
salmon (overall color)
average spatial: 38 in x 15 in x 15 in; 96.52 cm x 38.1 cm x 38.1 cm
United States: North Carolina, Greensboro
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Government, Politics, and Reform
Civil Rights Movement
African American
National Treasures exhibit
Greensboro Sit-in
See more items in
Political History: Political History, General History Collection
National Treasures exhibit
2E Landmark
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Related Publication
Kendrick, Kathleen M. and Peter C. Liebhold. Smithsonian Treasures of American History
Publication title
Treasures of American History online exhibition
Publication author
National Museum of American History
Publication URL

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