Civil Rights Museum

  • 1879: The "Great Five-cent Store" was founded in Lancaster, Pa.
  • 1929: 132 South Elm Street building was built. The architect, Charles Hartmann also designed the Jefferson Standard Building.
  • 1939: Woolworth took over most of the building. Before that, Woolworth was located at 218 S. Elm.
  • 1960: Woolworth's annual sales topped a billion dollars. The Greensboro store ranked 64th in retail sales out of more than 2,000 Woolworth stores and was the number 1 Woolworth store in the region in restaurant sales.
  • Feb 1, 1960: Franklin McCain, David Richmond, Ezell Blair, Jr. (Jireel Khazan), and Joseph McNeil sat down at the whites only lunch counter and refused to leave.
  • April 1960: Within 2 months, the sit-in had spread to 54 cities in 9 states.
  • July 25, 1960: Woolworth agreed to integrate its Greensboro store and four black Woolworth employees, Geneva Tisdale, Susie Morrison , Anetha Jones and Charles BestWoolworth were the first to be served. lost $200,000 in business during the sit-ins.
  • Feb 1, 1980: The four former students returned to the lunch counter for the 20th anniversary of the sit-ins.
  • 1982: The Woolworth building was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
  • 1983: Woolworth announces it would redesign 1200 stores across the country, including replacement of lunch counters in 50 stores. Woolworth decides to preserve downtown Greensboro's full-service counter.
  • 1988: Building sold to Neuse Inc., a subsidiary of First Citizens Bank.
  • 1990: Greensboro hosted a 30-year anniversary celebration.
  • Oct 1993: Lunch counter stopped serving food.
  • Jan 22, 1994: Elm Street Woolworth's closed.
  • Nov. 3, 1993: Sit-in Movement, Inc. was incorporated by Skip Alston and Earl Jones.
  • 1994: Sit-in Movement, Inc. purchased the building for $700,000 from First Citizens Bank.
  • 1995: Sit-in Movement, Inc. asked the federal government to officially declare the site a National Historic Landmark. A distinction not yet granted.
  • Nov. 1995: International fund raising campaign kicks off.
  • 1998: Museum expected to be completed and open to the public.
  • Feb 2001: Museum’s mortgage paid off.
  • June 26, 2001: N.C. A&T announces partnership with Sit-in Movement Inc.
  • Feb 2004: Amelia Parker, an ex-White House staffer is named Museum director.
  • June 2005: Museum announces a need for an extra $6 million to fix a leaky basement and prepare the building to meet the rigid standards for affiliation with the Smithsonian Institution.
  • Mar 2006: A national fundraising campaign with a $12.5 million goal is announced.
  • Aug 2007: Request $1.5 million from the city of Greensboro.
  • Jan 30, 2009: - Two investment groups agree to buy $10 million in tax credits linked to the project. Local foundations and a variety of corporations make $4 million in new pledges. The goal is to complete the renovations by Feb. 1, 2010 — the 50th anniversary of the sit-ins.
  • Feb 1, 2010: The International Civil Rights Center & Museum opens on the 50th anniversary of the sit-ins.
  • Aug 2013: Melvin "Skip" Alston announces that he will resign as chairman, but will remain as a member of the board.
  • Sep 2013: City of Greensboro agrees to loan $1.5 million to the center to help it continue operations. Under the loan terms, the museum will have 2 1/2 years to repay the loan at 2 percent interest. The city also agreed to forgive $1 worth of loan for every dollar the museum raises before July 1, 2015.
  • Oct 2013: George Clopton, vice president of distribution operations for Ralph Lauren is named as the new chairman of the International Civil Rights Center & Museum.
  • Feb. 2014: The city learns that a $750,000 check (1st part of $1.5 million loan) was turned over to the museum without a signed loan agreement.
  • Apr. 2014: Lacy Ward Jr. named executive director of the International Civil Rights Center & Museum.
  • Nov. 10, 2014: Lacy Ward Jr. was fired as executive director. The board refused to explain why.
  • Nov.17, 2014: Mayor, Nancy Vaughan announced a proposal for the city to take over the operation of the museum. The board rejected the proposal.
Click Here for Sit-In Movement, Inc.'s 2014 990

Compiled by Diane Lamb, News & Record Researcher

Revenues and Expenses Published N&R February 1, 2009

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