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One of the original 'five and dime' stores, Woolworth on Fifth became a vital piece of American history on February 13, 1960, when four African American students sat down at its lunch counter and refused to leave when they were denied service.
Because much of the southern states still operated under the racist Jim Crow laws, this sit-in was a significant statement. The Woolworth on Fifth incident helped to spark a number of similar sit-ins and protests which defined the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.