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Louisville in Jefferson County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
 

Sit-in Demonstration Site

Walgreens

 

— 526 South Fourth Street —

 
Sit-in Demonstration Site Marker image. Click for full size.
By Shane Oliver, July 3, 2021
1. Sit-in Demonstration Site Marker
Inscription.  

Walgreens drugstore was located at this site prior to its move in early 2000. On November 27, 1958, a delegation of representatives accompanying Mrs. Iris King, Mayor of Kingston, Jamaica, stopped here briefly to have a cup of coffee following a tour of the downtown business district. The store management refused to serve her and black members of the delegation.

As news of the incident spread, angry black leaders and citizens proposed a boycott of all downtown stores. Meanwhile, Central High School students, led by educator Lyman T. Johnson, protested in front of the store. It was the first public demonstration against a store policy serving blacks.

One week later, Frank Stanley, editor of the Louisville Defender, reported he was served at Walgreens without incident. Stanley complemented the store’s management for changing its policy in a December 11, 1958, editorial. But he used the occasion to urge passage of a city ordinance to rectify the segregation policy, thus launching the long political and direct action campaign to achieve that goal.

Walgreens became one of the first stores on Fourth Street
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to serve blacks before the passage of the Public Accommodations Ordinance.

“…the one thing we did right was the day we started to fight, keep your eye on the prize hold on…”

Dedicated to the memory of Dr. J. Blaine Hudson (September 8, 1949 - January 5, 2013)
 
Erected 2013 by University of Louisville College of Arts and Sciences and Office for International, Diversity and Outreach Programs; Louisville Metro Council; Louisville Downtown Partnership; Office of the Mayor; Alpha Lambda Chapter; Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity; KentuckyOne Health. (Marker Number 6.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansCivil Rights. A significant historical date for this entry is November 27, 1958.
 
Location. 38° 15.009′ N, 85° 45.467′ W. Marker is in Louisville, Kentucky, in Jefferson County. Marker is at the intersection of South 4th Street and Guthrie Street, on the left when traveling north on South 4th Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Louisville KY 40202, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Civil Rights Movement Overview - Fourth Street Sit-In Demonstration Sites (here, next to this marker); James Guthrie (1792-1869) (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Sit-in Demonstration Site (about 300 feet away, measured in a
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direct line); Campaign to End Racial Segregation in Louisville (about 400 feet away); Thomas Merton - (1915-68) / A Revelation (about 400 feet away); Blue Boar Cafeteria (about 400 feet away); Rotary Club of Louisville / Henry Watterson Hotel (about 400 feet away); Sit-In Demonstration Site (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Louisville.
 
Also see . . .  Louisville Civil Rights Markers. (Submitted on August 5, 2021, by Shane Oliver of Richmond, Virginia.)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 5, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 31, 2021, by Shane Oliver of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 53 times since then. Photo   1. submitted on July 31, 2021, by Shane Oliver of Richmond, Virginia. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Confirmation of the marker's exact location. • A wide view photo of the marker and the surrounding area together in context. • Can you help?

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Dec. 1, 2021