Mississippi unveils marker for 1963 civil rights sit-in

By Emily Wagster Pettus/The Associated Press

JACKSON — Mississippi on Tuesday unveiled a historical marker commemorating the sit-in that took place 50 years earlier at a segregated lunch counter in downtown Jackson.

The Woolworth’s where the sit-in happened has been gone for decades. But, social changes prompted by the civil rights movement are very much in evidence in a state with a large number of black elected officials.

A racially mixed group of Tougaloo College students and faculty members participated in the sit-in on May 28, 1963. They were attacked by an angry white mob. Some were beaten. Others were doused with ketchup, mustard and sugar.

Former Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Reuben Anderson says the peaceful protesters risked their lives but, “they changed America.”

The historical marker is off Capitol Street, two blocks west of the Governor’s Mansion.