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."