1960 & 1962 Student Sit-ins

Although President Harry S. Truman signed an executive order to desegregate the armed forces in 1948, most African American soldiers who fought for their country in World War II still had to come back and live in cities that were racially segregated (Harry S. Truman Library & Museum, n. d.). Little Rock, Arkansas was no exception. This way of life persisted across the state until the late 1950's and 1960's when members of the local chapter NAACP began to organize and take legal action to integrate the public schools.  

Lunch Counter Sit-ins Exhibit

A number of members of the NAACP College Chapter attended Philander Smith College. In 1960, they independently planned and participated in the first of a series of non-violent civil rights protests that lead to the integration of eating establishments in Little Rock, Arkansas. These “sitdowns” or sit-ins were held at lunch counters of local stores that refused to serve or allow black citizens to sit down and eat alongside white patrons. PSC Archives Little Rock Lunch Counter Sit-ins Collection illustrates the integral part that Philanderians had in the struggle for equal rights in Arkansas. The exhibit is on display in the PSC Archives until February 28, 2017. 


Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. (n. D). This day in History, July 26, 1948. Retrieved from https://www.trumanlibrary.org/anniversaries/desegblurb.htm