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11 Significant Landmarks Along the U.S. Civil Rights Trail

Visit the sites where ordinary citizens fought injustice and made history

stools from the F.W. Woolworth counter in Greensboro, NC

U.S. Civil Rights Trail

The Greensboro, N.C., lunch counter where four African-American college students protested “whites-only” service by refusing to give up their seats. The site is now part of the International Civil Rights Center & Museum.

En español | America’s struggle for civil rights had many battlegrounds.

In Little Rock, Arkansas, history was made at a high school, where the National Guard escorted nine students past taunting crowds to integrate a formerly all-white campus. In Greensboro, North Carolina, it unfolded at a lunch counter, where months of sit-ins won the right for customers of any race to order a cup of coffee.

Today, it’s easy for travelers to visit these places, thanks to the U.S. Civil Rights Trail, a public initiative launched in 2018 that links more than 100 key sites across 15 states and the District of Columbia. The 11 destinations described below vividly help recount the cruelty of Jim Crow segregation, offering an unblinking look at the racial violence and hatred that consumed a society — as well as the remarkable stories of ordinary individuals who showed incredible bravery in the face of injustice.

Editor's note: This article was originally published on February 10, 2020. It's been updated to reflect COVID-19 closures.

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