In June 1960 biracial groups of college students entered drugs stores in Arlington and requested service at the stores’ lunch counters. The lunch counters promptly closed. The students remained seated for hours protesting the stores’ refusals to serve African American patrons. For the most part, the Arlington sit-ins were calm and peaceful. The exception was at the Drug Fair in Cherrydale, where American Nazi Party leader George Lincoln Rockwell held a counter-demonstration. Over the course of two days, a crowd attempted to incite the students with taunts and abuse.
Local historian Gregory Embree takes us back to that era to the planning, the fear, and the abuse. Based on personal interviews with many of the protesters, first hand reports, and in-depth documentation, our speaker will also talk about what this protest meant to the Cherrydale community, to Arlington, and to civil rights in our region.
This is a recording of one in the series of free monthly public events hosted by the Arlington Historical Society. AHS proudly partnered with the Black Heritage Museum of Arlington to present this event. This video runs for 1 hour, 25 minutes, and 14 seconds.