One of America’s first sit-ins took place at Alexandria (Va.) Library on August 21, 1939. African American attorney Samuel Wilbert Tucker (1913–1990) preparing a select group of young men for a deliberate act of civil disobedience at the then whites-only library. On that day, library staff and patrons watched as a young African American entered and asked to register for a library card. When he was refused, he picked up a book, silently took a seat, and began to read. Soon four others entered, occupying five tables.
Alexandria (Va.) Library