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50th Anniversary Of Woolworth Lunch Counter Protest

Monday is the 50th anniversary of a sit-in that changed America.

It was February 1, 1960, that four black college freshmen walked up to the "whites only" lunch counter at an F.W. Woolworth in Greensboro, N.C., sat down and demanded service.

Five days after that protest, the demonstration reached at least 1,000 people. Within two months, sit-ins were happening in 54 cities in nine states. And within six months, the Greensboro Woolworth lunch counter was desegregated.

Monday, the International Civil Rights Center and Museum will open on the site of the Greensboro Woolworth store.

Part of the original counter is now at the Smithsonian, but the original stools where the four students sat are still there. One of those students, Franklin McCain, now says "sitting on that dumb stool" was "the best feeling of my life."

The building remains because it was bought in 1993 from a bank that had planned to turn it into a parking lot.


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