F. W. Woolworth Building

December 8, 2010 in 1960s-1970s, Economic history, Social history

Downtown Lexington has a long history of economic and social importance.

Woolworth was a department store in Lexington from 1946 to 1990. Woolworths were located all over the country and became the first 5&10 cent store. 

In 1960, at a North Carolina Woolworth, four African-American students sat at the counter to eat lunch. They were refused service which snowballed into six months of boycotts and sit-ins at many Woolworth buildings, including the one in Lexington. This eventually caused economic strain on the company, but made an impact in the civil rights movement.

It is little instances like this that helped change our country from a severely discriminatory place to live to a country that made huge strides, thanks to brave people, such as the four African-American students, in the civil rights movement.

Abby Marlatt, University of Kentucky professor and civil rights activist
Video clip
Abby Marlett, civil rights activist,
describes CORE sit ins by University of Kentucky students
Kentucky Historical Society’s Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky

Unfortunately, the Lexington Woolworth building was demolished in 2004 and is now a parking lot.

3 responses to F. W. Woolworth Building

  1. Small instances like this made huge impacts on the movement because whenever you take a stance against something you are able to achieve something.

  2. Why dont we use such boycotting practices on companies know who use child labor?

  3. I remember when the Woolworth store was standing on Main Street, but it was not in operation. The things that made residents really angry was when a decision was made to raze a whole city block to make way for a giant sky scraper that will never come. People were sad.

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