In Memoriam: Franklin Eugene McCain, 1941-2014

f_mccainFranklin McCain, one of the four students from North Carolina A&T State University, who on February 1, 1960 began a sit-in at the segregated lunchcounter of the Woolworth’s store in Greensboro, North Carolina, died on January 9 at a hospital in Greensboro. He was 73 years old.

The lunchcounter sit-ins spread quickly throughout the South and were a major milestone in the civil rights movement. After several days of protests in Greensboro, in which crowds grew to more than 1,000, Woolworth closed the lunchcounter. In July 1960 the store agreed to serve Black customers. The site of the sit-in is now the International Civil Rights Center and Museum.

McCain remained in school and in 1964 received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and biology. He spent much of his career as a chemist for Celanese Corporation in Charlotte. McCain served on the board of trustees of North Carolina A&T State University and on the University of North Carolina system’s board of governors.

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