Grand Opening and 50th Anniversary: A Nationally Historic Event
On Feb. 1, 1960, four students from North Carolina A&T State University
- Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeil, Ezell Blair, Jr., (now Jibreel Khazan) and
David Richmond - sat down at the F.W. Woolworth "whites only" lunch
counter in Greensboro, N.C., and made history. Fifty years later, on Feb. 1,
2010, thousands of spectators and hundreds of news media gathered in
front of the same "five and dime" retail store to celebrate the grand opening
of the new International Civil Rights Center & Museum and honor the courageous
actions of these four men.
ICRCM co-founders Melvin "Skip" Alston and Earl Jones led an emotional ribbon cutting ceremony held outside the museum. Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., opened the ceremony with an inspiring invocation, and the three surviving members of the Greensboro Four (McCain, McNeil and Khazan) attended as guests of honor. White House representative Assistant Attorney Thomas Perez, along with dignitaries including U.S. Senator Kay Hagan and N.C. Gov. Beverly Perdue, offered their personal remarks on the historic day.
N.C. A&T State University hosted other events throughout the day to honor the famed sit-in's 50th anniversary. The university's annual Sit-In Breakfast began the day's festivities and concluded with a commemorative student march from campus to downtown. The march retraced the footsteps of the Greensboro Four on Feb. 1, 1960.
Since opening, the ICRCM has hosted more than 23,000 visitors from across the globe. The 45,000 square-foot-facility is located at the corner of South Elm Street and February One Place. (The street was formerly known as Sycamore Street and renamed February One Place in honor of the four men.)
2010 ICRCM GOLF TOURNAMENT
The seventh annual International Civil Rights Center & Museum Golf Tournament was held June 7, with a record 21 teams teeing off at Bryan Park Golf Course in Greensboro, N.C. The annual tournament raises money for the museum's ongoing educational and public programming.
The tournament's format is unique. Teams are paired based upon a player's golf handicap and ethnicity. This provides players an opportunity to build relationships with those of diverse cultural backgrounds.
"The tournament's format is an extension of the museum's vision and mission," said ICRCM Chairman and Co-Founder Melvin 'Skip' Alston. "We strive to bring different races together for the betterment of our community." The ICRCM recognized both team and individual winners at a cookout following the event. The winning team (Curtis Richardson, Mac Sims, T.J. Warren and Melvin 'Skip' Alston) received the first place trophy. Ralph Shelton won "closest to the pin" and Kendall Dunn placed first in the "longest drive" contest.
Next year, the tournament will be renamed to honor the contributions of a committed advocate and relentless champion in the fight for justice. The Sit-In Movement, Inc. board of directors voted unanimously to name its annual golf tournament in honor of Dr. George C. Simkins. A graduate of Meharry Medical School, Dr. Simkins made an indelible imprint in the battle for civil rights and gave Greensboro and the state of N.C. much more compassionate medical care as a dentist. One of his most noted battles was a confrontation with the City of Greensboro in the Gillespie Park Golf Course case, which ultimately led to its integration.
The "International Civil Rights Center & Museum George C. Simkins, Jr. Memorial Classic" will salute the legacy and memory of Dr. Simkins, who passed away in 2001, and the five fellow litigants of the landmark Gillespie Park suit.
Save The Dates!
F.W. Woolworth Lunch Counter Desegregation
Fourth Annual Black and White Ball:
Commemorating Five Decades of Civil Rights Activism
Delsene Hauser: A Tribute to Greensboro's First Female Letter Carrier
On March 25, 2010, the United States Postal Service and the International Civil Rights Center & Museum honored Ms. Delsene Hauser, Greensboro's first female letter carrier during its celebration of Women's History Month. A lifelong resident of Greensboro, Ms. Hauser joined the U.S. Postal Service in 1965 and carried mail until she retired in 1990 at age 60.
During the special tribute, U.S. Postmaster Ronnie White presented Hauser with a special plaque honoring her efforts as a trailblazer. She paved the way for women to be hired as letter carriers in Greensboro, N.C., and the surrounding area.
The U.S. Postal Service also donated to the ICRCM enlargements of its Civil Rights Pioneers stamp series. The commemorative stamp series issued in 2009 honor the achievements of Ella Baker, Daisy Gatson Bates, J.R. Clifford, Medgar Evers, Fannie Lou Hamer, Charles Hamilton Houston, Ruby Hurley, Mary White Ovington, Joel Elias Spingarn, Mary Church Terrell, Oswald Garrison Villard and Walter White. The gift was in honor of the ICRCM's grand opening and 50th anniversary of the Greensboro sit-ins.
What's HOT This Summer: Saturday Children's Storytelling and Reading Hour
Every Saturday at 11 a.m., children gather in SIMI's Room for Children's Storytelling and Reading Hour. The weekly event is one of the most popular educational programming activities for children at the International Civil Rights Center & Museum.
Community leaders and activists connect with youngsters over profound and inspirational stories such as The Day Gogo Went to Vote, by Elinor Batezat. The story is about a 100-year-old woman who, accompanied by her great-grand daughter, goes to the polls the first time blacks in South Africa gained the right to vote. Mr. Aubrey Powell, a native of South Africa, shared this tale with youngsters during May's celebration of African Liberation Month.
After each story, children participate in their very own make-and-take arts activity. Visit the ICRCM's Web site, www.sitinmovement.org, to see the literary works we are reading this summer!
Become an ICRCM Volunteer this summer!
Would you like to add meaningful experience to your resume? Do you have a love for volunteering and making a difference? The International Civil Rights Center & Museum needs passionate and energetic volunteers to function as:
- Administrative Aides
- Entrance/Gallery Greeters
- Gallery Monitors
- Special Event Aides
- Membership Aides
Volunteer benefits include: learning to work in a unique and exciting environment, discounts to the Museum Shop, service year awards and an annual volunteer recognition celebration. For additional information, please contact ICRCM Volunteer Coordinator Angela Fitzgerald at (336) 274-9199 x100 or email@example.com.
The International Civil Rights Center & Museum Extends Hours for Summer Season
The International Civil Rights Center & Museum recently announced extended hours for the summer season. Effective April 1 through September 30, the ICRCM's hours of operation are as follows:
Tuesday - Thursday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Friday - Saturday: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sundays: 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and students, and $6 for children. Children under the age of five are free when accompanied by an adult. Visit the ICRCM's Web site at www.sitinmovement.org for a list of upcoming events and special educational and public programming. Tour tickets are available for purchase in advance by calling the museum at (336) 274-9199.
Consider the International Civil Rights Center & Museum for your next event
The International Civil Rights Center & Museum boasts six rooms in the meticulously restored F.W. Woolworth building. Facilities range from a 180-seat, state-of-the-art auditorium to a joint center and conference room overlooking picturesque downtown Greensboro. For reservation requests and additional details, visit the Meeting Space & Facilities Page or call Pam Glass at (336) 274-9199 x 235. Meeting and event spaces at the International Civil Rights Center & Museum includes:
- The Auditorium - (Seats 180, starting at $300)
- The Changing Gallery - (Capacity of 125, starting at $500)
- The Lobby - (Maximum capacity 225, starting at $500)
- The Joint Center - (Seats 20, starting at $125)
- Classrooms (two) - (Seats 35, starting at $125)
- Conference Room - (Seats 20, starting at $300)
Become a Member Today and Enjoy the ICRCM All Year!
The ICRCM offers several membership options for individuals and families. Museum membership allows access to special events and exhibits, as well as one year's free admission to the ICRCM. Other benefits include: personalized membership cards, 10 percent discount in the Museum Shop, quarterly newsletters, special member pricing for events such as lectures, workshops and other public programs.
MEMBERSHIP CATEGORIES INCLUDE:
Individual Membership: $40.00
- Basic membership privileges for one adult (ages 25-64)
Senior Membership: $30.00
- Basic membership privileges for one adult (age 65 or older)
Senior Family Membership: $60.00
- Basic membership privileges for two adults (age 65 or older)
Student/Youth Membership: $25.00
- Basic membership privileges for one student (ages 14 to 24)
Family Membership: $100.00
- Basic membership privileges for two adults and up to four children
Basic membership privileges include:
- Free admission to the ICRCM for one year
- Personalized membership card
- 10% off Museum Shop purchases
- Subscription to the ICRCM's quarterly newsletter
- Calendar of programs and events (includes advance notification and tickets before general public to exhibits in the area)
- Discount pricing on admission to special ICRCM events including lectures, exhibitions and workshops
- Join our growing museum family by visiting the Membership Page and download a membership application today.
The Co-Founder's Corner
We had a tremendous feeling of accomplishment and pride on the cold morning of Feb. 1, 2010. As the bright gold letters "F.W. Woolworth & Co." shined in the early morning sun, we stood in front of thousands of cheering supporters to celebrate the ribbon cutting and grand opening of the International Civil Rights Center & Museum. The moment was more poignant than we ever dreamed it could be, even after 17 years of working toward this historic day.
We owe a heartfelt thanks and a debt of gratitude to the individuals, organizations and countless volunteers who supported our vision to save the F.W. Woolworth building from destruction. Fifty years ago, the F.W. Woolworth building stood as a reminder of segregated life in the south. Today, it stands as a tribute and lasting legacy to the power of human courage and its ability to bring about social change.
We continue to be inspired by the thousands of visitors (many have traveled from across the globe). They come to the cradle of the modern civil rights movement - the very lunch counter that forever changed America. Many have wept. Many have rejoiced. Many have left forever changed by their experience here in Greensboro.
This has been an incredible journey - one of unexpected twists and turns. Yet, our work did not end on February 1. We still have a job to do. We must ensure that the museum will serve as a teaching tool for years to come, helping and inspiring people to understand and make social change. It takes an entire community to raise a museum. A community comprised of visitors, members, volunteers, donors and countless supporters. We invite you to join our growing museum family today.
We look forward to seeing you soon in Greensboro.
Melvin 'Skip' Alston,
ICRCM Chairman and Co-Founder
Earl F. Jones,
ICRCM Vice-Chairman and Co-Founder