McCrory’s Five & Dime: The “Friendship Nine” and the Sit-In Movement in Rock Hill

A historical marker stands in front of the McCrory’s Five & Dime building in Rock Hill where nine Black students from Friendship Junior College and their leader from Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) were denied service at the lunch counter subsequently being arrested for trespassing on January 31, 1961. Nine of the ten men chose to serve 30 days on the York County Prison Chain Gang, instead of paying $100 each to bail out of jail. This marked a new “Jail, No Bail” strategy, was backed by CORE and students from the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), including Diane Nash. Today you can view the original lunch counter, stools, and foot rails inside the current restaurant, Kounter. Additionally, you can learn about the movement the Friendship 9 started at the free “Jail, No Bail” exhibit inside the former McCrory’s building.

KEYWORDS: CIVIL RIGHTS, FRIENDSHIP NINE, MCCRORY’S, ROCK HILL, YORK COUNTY, LUNCH COUNTER SIT-IN