37¢ 1960 Lunch Counter Sit-ins
To Form a More Perfect Union
Issue Date: August 27, 2005
City: Washington, DC
Printed By: Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed
Perforations: Serpentine Die Cut 10.75 x 10.5
Throughout the South in 1960 and for decades before, people were segregated by race in restaurants and other public places. On February 1, 1960, four African-American college students sat at the “whites only” lunch counter of the F.W. Woolworth store in Greensboro, NC, and tried to order lunch. When asked to leave, they remained in their seats.
A larger group of students returned the next day. Hundreds of students and others joined in sitting-in at the lunch counter and boycotting the store. Six months later, the Woolworth lunch counter was desegregated.
News of the Greensboro sit-in spread. Within two weeks, there were sit-ins in 11 cities. Northern students supported the Southern students by boycotting and picketing Northern branches of the targeted chain stores.
White-owned businesses suffered from the sit-ins, pickets, and boycotts. In Nashville, TN, students held sit-ins through February and March of 1960. When a lawyer who had represented the arrested students had his home bombed in April, 2,500 students and citizens staged a silent march on city hall. Three weeks later, six Nashville lunch counters began serving blacks.
By October, there had been sit-ins in 112 cities. The courage of four young men had inspired a movement.