Photograph from the Walker Local History Digital Collections
Integrating Columbia's Lunch Counters
For 8 1/2 minutes 50 Allen and Benedict students sat down at the "white" lunch counter in Woolworth's on March 2, 1960. The Woolworth'sDepartment Store at the 1400 block of Main Street was one of several stores students protested on that Wednesday. According to The State newspaper the students sat down, read a bible and left. There was no violence. There were no arrests.
Demonstrations steadily increased on Main Street throughout 1961 and 1962. Downtown store demonstrations on February 21, 1961 and on March 8, 1962 resulted in arrests and fines for the mostly Benedict and Allen college students when they refused to leave downtown lunch counters including the one at Woolworth's. However, by late summer of 1962, The State reported that "Limited integration at the lunch counters of eight downtown stores continued Friday without incident."
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The civil rights movement in South Carolina has an epic and tumultuous history, beginning with the very first statewide meeting of the NAACP in 1939. With stories of sit-ins, more...
The civil rights movement in South Carolina has an epic and tumultuous history, beginning with the very first statewide meeting of the NAACP in 1939. With stories of sit-ins, movements and the integration of state universities, this is the first comprehensive history of South Carolina's civil rights struggles. And behind every achievement are the major legal rulings that protected them, interspersed with the familiar names of Thurgood Marshall, Matthew Perry, Ernest A. Finney and Judge Waties Waring. Join former South Carolina NAACP president and activist James L. Felder as he recounts the epic struggle African Americans have faced, from fighting for the right to vote to the desegregation of public spaces and all the efforts in between. less...