On July 2, 1960, minority citizens of Fredericksburg began a protest to effect social and political change through direct action. A larger Civil Rights Movement had begun in earnest following the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down as unconstitutional the concept of "separate but equal." It rapidly spread through much of the South in the form of bus boycotts, freedom riders, and protest marches.
Fredericksburg's sit-ins occurred at W.T. Grant's (directly across the street), at F.W. Woolworth's (across the street to your left front), and at Peoples Service Drug Store (to your right). By late August, the affected businesses relented and integrated their lunch counters.
The local protests were one of many steps taken nation-wide to awaken the conscience of a nation whose creed, espoused in 1776, proclaimed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."