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Rock Hill in York County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

McCrory's Civil Rights Sit-ins / “Friendship Nine”

 
 
McCrory's Civil Rights Sit-ins Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Stanley and Terrie Howard, October 12, 2008
1. McCrory's Civil Rights Sit-ins Marker
Inscription.
McCrory's Civil Rights Sit-ins
This building, built in 1901, was occupied by McCrory's Five & Dime from 1937 to 1997. On February 12, 1960, black students from Friendship Jr. College in Rock Hill were denied service at the McCrory's lunch counter but refused to leave. Their "sit-in" was one of the first of many calling attention to segregated public places in downtown Rock Hill. These protests lasted for more than a year.

"Friendship Nine"
Many Rock Hill protesters were arrested, convicted, and fined. On January 31, 1961, ten students from Friendship Jr. College were arrested when they refused to leave McCrory's. Nine would not pay their fines and became the first Civil Rights sit-in protesters in the nation to serve jail time. This new "Jail No Bail" strategy by "the Friendship Nine" was soon adopted as the model strategy for the Freedom Rides of 1961.
 
Erected 2007 by The Culture and Heritage Museums of York County and the City of Rock Hill. (Marker Number 46-37.)
 
Location. 34° 55.531′ N, 81° 1.607′ W. Marker is in Rock Hill, South Carolina, in York County. Marker is on E Main Sreet. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 135 E Main St., Rock Hill SC 29730, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
"Friendship Nine" Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Stanley and Terrie Howard, October 12, 2008
2. "Friendship Nine" Marker
At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Village of Rock Hill / City of Rock Hill (within shouting distance of this marker); Andrew Jackson Hotel / Vernon Grant (within shouting distance of this marker); U.S. Post Office and Courthouse / Citizen's Building (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Black Plantation / Hampton Campaign (about 400 feet away); Rock Hill (about 600 feet away); Episcopal Church of Our Saviour (about 600 feet away); First Presbyterian Church / Church Leaders (about 700 feet away); Rock Hill Depots / Rock Hill Street Railway (about 700 feet away); First Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church / Dr. Arthur Small Rogers (approx. 0.2 miles away); Rock Hill Cotton Factory (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Rock Hill.
 
Also see . . .
1. Video of Friendship Nine Historical Marker Dedication. From the Rock Hill Herald Online. (Submitted on January 23, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

2. McCrory Stores. J.G. McCrory's or McCrory Stores was a chain of five and dime stores in the United States based in York, Pennsylvania. (Submitted on January 23, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

3. Friendship Jr. College. Official website of Friendship Jr. College. (Submitted on January 23, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

4. Friendship Nine
McCrory's Civil Rights Sit-ins / "Friendship Nine" Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Stanley and Terrie Howard, October 12, 2008
3. McCrory's Civil Rights Sit-ins / "Friendship Nine" Marker
. The Friendship Nine was a group of African American men who went to jail after staging a sit-in at a segregated McCrory's lunch counter in Rock Hill, South Carolina in 1961. (Submitted on January 23, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

5. Rock Hill Friendship Nine Member: I Never Thought I Would See This Day. Exactly 200 people waited in line to vote Tuesday morning at Pineville AME Zion Church in front of a 66-year-old man with cornrows in his hair and calluses on his fingers. (Submitted on January 23, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

6. 'Friendship Nine' deserves more than apologies. Most anniversaries are parties. (Submitted on January 23, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

7. 'Friendship Nine' Civil Rights Leader Robert McCullough Dies at 64. Robert McCullough, who led a group of black students in a landmark 1961 civil rights protest, choosing to serve jail time on a chain gang for the crime of sitting at a whites-only lunch counter, has died. He was 64. (Submitted on January 23, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

8. A Cying Racist Struggles to Deal with His Past Sins. Elwin Hope Wilson leans back in his recliner at his home in Rock Hill, SC, a sad, sickly man haunted by time. (Submitted on January 23, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
"Friendship Nine" Photo, Click for full size
Courtesy of Rock Hill Evening Herald, 1960
4. "Friendship Nine"
One of the civil rights incidents in downtown Rock Hill in the sixties. This photo from the Feb. 13, 1960, Evening Herald, described Bunt Gill wiping egg from his hat this way: Bunt Gill, a negro passer-by, wipes egg from hat as police stand guard. Hurled egg struck Gill as demonstrators filed out West Main. Elwin Wilson, now 72, is pictured in white jersey over Gill's left shoulder. Wilson, who said he threw the egg, recently apologized to black protesters of segregation.
 

9. Friendship Nine trespassing sentences vacated - Rock Hill Herald. The 8 surviving members of the Friendship Nine had their 1961 convictions vacated on Jan 28, 2015 by a SC judge who is the nephew of the judge that originally convicted them. (Submitted on January 28, 2015, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.) 

10. CBS News 2015 Story on the Friendship Nine. Unfortunately, this video shows a 15 second commercial before it begins.
(Submitted on July 9, 2015.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. List of the Friendship Nine
John Gaines
Thomas Gaither (not a Friendship student)
Clarence Graham
W.T. "Dub" Massey
Willie McCleod
Robert McCullough (d. August 7, 2006)
James Wells
David Williamson Jr.
Mack Workman
    — Submitted January 23, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

 
Categories. Civil Rights
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Stanley and Terrie Howard of Greer, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 6,293 times since then and 615 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Stanley and Terrie Howard of Greer, South Carolina.   4. submitted on , by Stanley and Terrie Howard of Greer, South Carolina. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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