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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Fredericksburg, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Seeking Civil Rights

 
 
Seeking Civil Rights Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dawn Bowen, June 2, 2007
1. Seeking Civil Rights Marker
Inscription. On July 2, 1960, minority citizens of Fredericksburg began a protest to effect social and political change through direct action. A larger Civil Rights Movement had begun in earnest following the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down as unconstitutional the concept of “separate but equal.” It rapidly spread through much of the South in the form of bus boycotts, freedom riders, and protest marches.

Fredericksburg’s sit-ins occurred at W.T. Grant’s (directly across the street), at F.W. Woolworth’s (across the street to your left front), and at Peoples Service Drug Store (to your right). By late August, the affected businesses relented and integrated their lunch counters.

The local protests were one of many steps taken nation-wide to awaken the conscience of a nation whose creed, espoused in 1776, proclaimed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”
 
Erected by City of Fredericksburg.
 
Location. 38° 18.225′ N, 77° 27.572′ W. Marker is in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Marker is at the intersection of William Street (Virginia Route 3) and William Street and Caroline Street, on the right when traveling east on William Street. Click for map
Seeking Civil Rights Marker on Caroline & William Streets image. Click for full size.
By Dawn Bowen, September 4, 2008
2. Seeking Civil Rights Marker on Caroline & William Streets
. Marker is in this post office area: Fredericksburg VA 22401, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Weedon’s Tavern (here, next to this marker); Stating Inalienable Rights (here, next to this marker); Lewis Randolph Ball (within shouting distance of this marker); First Town Hall / Market House (within shouting distance of this marker); Second Town Hall / Market House (within shouting distance of this marker); The Market Square (within shouting distance of this marker); Gun from the CSS Virginia (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line but has been reported missing); Lease Land (about 300 feet away); Site of Barton House (about 400 feet away); Prisoners of Christ (about 400 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Fredericksburg.
 
Additional keywords. Desegregate, desegregation of public accommodations
 
Categories. Civil Rights
 
This is the former W.T. Grant's store, site of one of the sit-ins. image. Click for full size.
By Dawn Bowen, June 4, 2007
3. This is the former W.T. Grant's store, site of one of the sit-ins.
This is the former Woolworth's store, site of one of the lunch counter sit-ins. image. Click for full size.
By Dawn Bowen, June 4, 2007
4. This is the former Woolworth's store, site of one of the lunch counter sit-ins.
Woolworth's Counter, 1960 image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 3, 2011
5. Woolworth's Counter, 1960
During the Summer of 1960, local students staged this sit-in at the segregated lunch counter at F.W. Woolworth's. "We did not merely sit in to open counters to us. We helped to change attitudes, which in turn opened new opportunities and doors to us. We gained the courage to test the legality of many injustices... (Gladys Poles Todd)."
Close-up of photo on marker
If God is For Us,<br>Who Can Be Against Us? image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 3, 2011
6. If God is For Us,
Who Can Be Against Us?
Jerine Mercer piketing in front of W.T. Grants.
View is looking south, down Caroline Street.
Close-up of photo on marker
<u>My</u> Stomach May Be Empty<br>But What About <u>Your</u> Heart image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 3, 2011
7. My Stomach May Be Empty
But What About Your Heart
Gaye Todd protesting the segregated lunch counter at W.T. Grant's View is looking east, down William Street.
Close-up of photo on marker
Woolworth's in the 60s image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 12, 2012
8. Woolworth's in the 60s
From an enlarged postcard displayed in R&R Antiques the current occupant of the former Woolworth Building.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Dawn Bowen of Fredericksburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,772 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Dawn Bowen of Fredericksburg, Virginia.   2. submitted on , by Dawn Bowen of Fredericksburg, Virginia.   3, 4. submitted on , by Dawn Bowen of Fredericksburg, Virginia.   5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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