Civil Rights museum opens in Greensboro

In this Jan. 7, 2010 photo, The entrance to the former F.W. Woolworth store that will become the International Civil Rights Center and Museum is shown in Greensboro, N.C. Four college freshmen walked into a Greensboro, N.C., dime store on Monday, Jan. 1 1960, bought a few items, then sat down at the "whites only" lunch counter, and sparked a wave of civil rights protest that changed America. (AP)

February 1, 2010 4:31:14 PM PST
Fifty years after four students sat at a segregated Greensboro lunch counter, a museum opens to commemorate the historical era in American history.

The International Civil Rights Museum opened in downtown Greensboro Monday.

The museum is located inside the former Woolworth's store where 50 years ago, four African-American students from A&T University sat at the lunch counter and asked to be served.

For more information about the museum visit www.sitinmovement.org

That action made worldwide headlines and sparked the sit-in movement in this country. Monday three of the four students who sat at the Woolworth counter returned for the museum's grand opening.

"It's not just a building," said Franklin McCain, part of the Greensboro Four. "This museum makes a real big statement! It's a statement about individuals, and a statement about the power of one, more than anything else."

"The onlookers stopping by, saying 'Oh my goodness! Those colored boys are still sitting here. Wonder how long they're gonna be there. Are they gonna leave soon,'" said Joseph McNeil, part of the Greensboro Four.

Also in attendance was one of the women who worked behind the counter on that historic day. She said she was proud to see the historic counter preserved for the education of today's students.

"I felt bad for them asking to be served?but we couldn't do anything about it," Geneva Tisdale said.

The 1960 demonstrations led to the desegregation of the Woolworth counter.

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