Protest in Richmond
On January 1, 1960, Dr. King spoke at an Emancipation Day rally in Richmond. Inspired by his example of nonviolent protest, a group of Virginia Union University students organized a sit-in at the segregated Woolworth's lunch counter on February 20. The restaurant responded by closing. Two days later, the students returned to downtown, this time entering the first-floor lunch counter at Thalhimers, as well as the exclusive Richmond Room restaurant on the store's fourth floor. When thirty-four of the students refused to leave, they were arrested and later dubbed "the Richmond 34." These initial protests led to nearly a year of picket lines that promoted boycotts of segregated stores with signs such as "Don't Shop Where You Are Arrested," ultimately resulting in the integration of Thalhimers and several other Richmond stores.
Richard N. Anderson was both a University of Virginia-trained architect and lifelong photographer. He published his images under the byline DanFoto in Richmond's Times-Dispatch and News Leader. While few vintage prints of his photographs exist, Anderson gave his original negatives to the Valentine Richmond History Center. Reproduced here are digital scans that document and preserve these powerful events in our local history.