North Carolina Events

NAACP Comes to North Carolina (1943)
The N. C. Conference of NAACP Branches forms in Charlotte.

"Journey of Reconciliation" (1947)
The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) tests a Supreme Court decision against segregation in interstate bus travel by sending eight African American men on Greyhound and Trailways bus rides. Riders are arrested in Asheville, Durham, and Chapel Hill. This "Journey of Reconciliation" becomes the model for the 1961 Freedom Rides.

The University of North Carolina Integrates Graduate and Professional Schools (1951)                                                                                                                                                                                  A court order requires the University of North Carolina to admit minority students to its graduate and professional schools. Floyd B. McKissick, Harvey Beech, J. Kenneth Lee, and James Lassiter become the first African Americans admitted to the law school.

Greensboro School Board Begins an Effort to Desegregate (1954)
In response to the Brown decision, the Greensboro school board begins an effort to desegregate the city's public schools. While a year later, the North Carolina General Assembly adopts a resolution opposing racial integration in the state's public schools, the legislature gives local school boards control over the desegregation of their schools. In 1957, small numbers of African American students enroll in previously white public schools in Greensboro, Charlotte, and Winston-Salem, beginning a period of token integration.

Martin Luther King Jr. Visits North Carolina (1958)
In 1958, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. visits North Carolina. He delivers stirring speeches in both Raleigh and Greensboro.

The Greensboro Four Stage the Historic Woolworth’s Sit-In (Feb. 1, 1960)
In Greensboro, N.C., four black students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College (Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeil, Ezell Blair, Jr., and David Richmond) begin a sit-in at a segregated Woolworth's lunch counter. Although they are refused service, they are allowed to stay at the counter. The event triggers many similar nonviolent protests throughout the South. Six months later the original four protesters are served lunch at the same Woolworth's counter. Student sit-ins would be effective throughout the Deep South in integrating parks, swimming pools, theaters, libraries, and other public facilities.

Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) is Formed (1960)
College students involved in sit-in demonstrations hold a conference at Shaw University in Raleigh and form the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), pronounced "SNICK." The organization adopts Gandhi's theory of nonviolent direct action. SNCC chairman John Lewis is one of the speakers at the March on Washington in 1963.

Violence Erupts at N. C. A&T College (1969)
Civil rights demonstrators at N. C. A&T College in Greensboro are fired upon. One student is killed, and five police officers are injured.

Winston-Salem Chapter of the Black Panther Party (1970)
The Winston-Salem chapter of the Black Panther Party receives its charter from the national party. The chapter has its beginnings in the East Winston Organization of Black Liberation, a group of African American students advocating community activism to combat police brutality and racial discrimination. Other North Carolina cities also have Black Panther chapters.

Henry Morrow Killed in Oxford, N.C. (1970)
On March 11th, 1970, Henry D. Marrow Jr.,  a 23-year old African American man, was murdered in Oxford, N.C.—the victim of an alleged hate crime. The three white men who had beaten and shot Henry Marrow were found "not guilty" of his murder by an all-white jury. The Marrow murder prompted the first major stirrings of the American Civil Rights Movement in Granville County and the verdict influenced Civil Rights events across the country.

Supreme Court upholds Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education (1971)                                                                                                                                                                                   After a federal court in Charlotte orders cross-town busing to achieve integration of the public schools, the Supreme Court upholds the decision in Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education.

North Carolina Repeals Ban on Interracial Marriage (1977)
The North Carolina General Assembly repeals the state's ban on interracial marriage and declines to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.

Reunion of the Greensboro Four (1980)
On February 1, 1980, the “Greensboro Four” (Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeil, Ezell Blair, Jr., and David Richmond) mark the 20th anniversary of their historic sit-in at a Greensboro Woolworth’s by returning to the North Carolina store. The four are served by Woolworth V.P. Aubrey C. Lewis.