Arlington commemorates its civil rights history

Delayed a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Arlington County, Virginia, is celebrating part of its civil rights history — the 60th anniversary of lunch counter sit-ins, which helped end racial segregation in the United States.

From now until June 23, Arlington Arts is offering free collectible, commemorative cards that salute each peaceful protest at seven different spots in the county.

The buildings and the businesses may have changed since the June 1960 sit-ins, but the county has set up a temporary stand at several places featuring the commemorative letter-pressed cards. In most cases, the cards are being offered at the very site of each sit-in.

The People’s Drug Store at 4709 Lee Highway is where one of the sit-ins occurred. The Arlington Arts stand is set up at the site, which is now a CVS.

The Howard Johnson restaurant on Old Dominion Drive, where another peaceful sit-in unfolded, is now the site of a Capital One Bank. Its commemorate card is available at Lebanese Taverna, 4401 Old Dominion Drive.

A map is available at the Ellen Bozeman Government Center to find the places ranging from Lee Highway to Glebe Road to Shirlington.

The other spots where the sit-ins took place are:

  • Lee-Harrison Drug Fair, now Mattress Firm at 5401 Lee Highway;
  • Cherrydale Drug Fair, now Hair Vogue at 3815 Lee Highway;
  • Buckingham Drug Fair, now CVS at 265 N. Glebe Road

Woolworth-Shirlington, near what is now Guapo’s, and the Lansburgh Department Store, near what is now Stellina Pizza have cards available at Busboys and Poets at 4251 Campbell Ave.

Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

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