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Woolworth Sitters

May 2024
1min read

In “The Time Machine” for twenty-five years ago (February/March 1985), there appears a very interesting story and photograph of the sitters-in at the Greensboro Woolworth’s lunch counter on February 1, 1960.

Can you supply the names of these immortals? Rosa Parks and her bus have become fixed in the folklore, but the four students at Woolworth’s seem to have achieved an anonymity almost surpassing that of Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist (whose name actually was, I believe, Dr. Lewis J. Fielding). It would enhance the record if you could provide these identifications.


Two of the four students shown in our photograph were not among the first group ofsitters-in on February 1, it turns out, although they occupied the Woolworth seats on the next day, February 2. The students apparently sat in shifts. However, we have located all the names. The four students who sat at the Woolworth lunch counter in Greensboro on February 1 were: Joseph McNeil, Franklin McCain, David Richmond, and Ezell Blair, Jr. (who has since changed his name to Jibreel Khazan). The men in our picture are, left to right: Joseph McNeil, Franklin McCain, Billy Smith, and Clarence Henderson.

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