1958 July 19

1958 Wichita Sit-In Challenges Segregation


A local NAACP chapter on this day sponsored a sit-in in Wichita, Kansas, challenging racially segregated public accommodations. The sit-in was successful, and local lunch counters were desegregated on August 11, 1958.

The Wichita sit-in is significant because the conventional history of the Civil Rights Movement presents the sit-in movement challenging segregated lunch counters and other public accommodations as beginning in Greensboro, North Carolina, on February 1, 1960. In fact, there were a number of earlier sit-ins. See, for example, the early sit-in on April 17, 1943; January 20, 1955; and August 19, 1958. The significance of the February 1960 sit-in is that it launched a national sit-in movement that swept the South and transformed the Civil Rights Movement.

Read about the pre-1960 sit-ins: http://www.crmvet.org/tim/timhis60.htm#1960sitins

Learn more about the Wichita sit-ins: http://nvdatabase.swarthmore.edu/content/wichita-students-sit-us-civil-rights-1958

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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