Local News

Durham 1957 Sit-In Will Get Historical Marker

Posted December 17, 2007

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— A North Carolina highway marker will commemorate the sit-in at Royal Ice Cream in Durham that occurred three years before the better-known Woolworth's protest in Greensboro.

The Historical Marker Advisory Committee agreed Monday to put a marker at the site of the sit-in that occurred in June 1957, when seven blacks sat in the whites-only section of the ice cream parlor.

The protesters were arrested, charged and fined.

Three years later, in 1960, a sit-in occurred at the Woolworth's – a
protest that's recognized at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.

The Durham marker is scheduled to go up in spring 2008 at the former location of Royal Ice Cream.

In 2002, the committee had different members and turned down a request for the marker, saying the Durham sit-in wasn't as significant statewide as the one in Greensboro.

North Carolina has more than 1,500 historic markers, but the one in Durham will be just the fourth that commemorates a civil rights event.

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