1955 January 20

Sit-ins Integrate Baltimore Lunch Counters at Read’s Stores


On this day, African-Americans staged a sit-in and within hours successfully integrated the lunch counters at Read’s Department Store in Baltimore, Maryland.

Contrary to popular belief, the sit-ins as a civil rights tactic did not begin on February 1, 1960, in Greensboro, North Carolina. There had been a few sit-ins in the 1940s (Washington, April 17, 1943; Chicago, May 8, 1943; Washington, April 22, 1944), and a few in the late 1950s, including the one that started on this day. Others occurred in Wichita on July 19, 1958, and Oklahoma on August 19, 1958. The crucial difference was that the earlier sit-ins did not inspire a massive sit-in movement, which the justly famous 1960 sit-ins did.

Read the story about the Baltimore Sit-ins: http://www.crmvet.org/tim/timhis55.htm#1955balt

Learn more: Iwan W. Morgan and Philip Davies, From Sit-ins to SNCC: The Student Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s (2012)

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