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02-01-2005, 10:40 AM

Ceremonies to Mark 45th Anniversary of Sit-In Movement
By The Associated Press
(02/01/05 - GREENSBORO) Several observances are scheduled for today to mark the 45th anniversary of the sit-in at the Woolworth's in downtown Greensboro that gave birth to the civil rights movement.

A prayer breakfast, wreath-laying, and march from North Carolina A-and-T State University to the Woolworth's is scheduled. Four A-and-T students sat down at a whites-only lunch counter and asked to be served on this date in 1960.

At noon, a U-S Postal Service stamp is being unveiled to commemorate the first successful lunch counter sit-in. The stamp is part of a ten-stamp collection called "To Form A More Perfect Union."

The ceremony will be held at the former Woolworth's, where the store's facade is being restored to its 1960 appearance. It eventually will reopen as a civil rights center and museum.

The museum was originally set to open today, but that was delayed because of water seepage from Greensboro's high water table.

02-01-2005, 11:10 AM
Joseph McNeil, left, and Franklin McCain sign autographs after the screening of a documentary about their 1960 sit-in at a segregated Woolworth's lunch counter. The two were members of the Greensboro Four, freshmen at N.C. A&T.

Channing and Cerese's film "February One: The Story of the Greensboro Four" premiered in slightly different form at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival two years ago, and the final version will be broadcast at 10 p.m. Tuesday on PBS.

Through archival footage and re-enactments, the film tells the story of the day four African-American freshmen from N.C. A&T State University walked into the Woolworth's on Elm Street, sat down at the "white-only" lunch counter and politely asked to be served.

The men -- Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeil, Ezell Blair Jr. and David Richmond -- were refused service, and a police officer hovered over them threateningly, tapping his nightstick in his palm.