Franklin McCain, who helped spark a movement of nonviolent, sit-in protests across the U.S. South by occupying a "whites only" Woolworth's lunch counter in 1960, has died. He was 73.
McCain's son Frank McCain said Friday he died in North Carolina of respiratory complications late Thursday.
Franklin McCain was one of four students from North Carolina A&T State University who sat down at the segregated lunch counter on Feb. 1, 1960.
McCain, Joseph McNeil, Ezell Blair Jr. and David Richmond returned the following days with other protesters growing to at least 1,000 by the fifth day. Within weeks, sit-ins launched in more than 50 cities in nine states. The Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, was desegregated within six months.
McCain became a research chemist. Richmond died in 1990.
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Original Headline: US civil rights sit-in pioneer dies at 73
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