On February 22nd, 1960 34 Virginia Union students entered the lunch counter and Richmond Room at Thalhimers department store. The students were asked to leave. When they refused, they were arrested for trespassing. It marked one of the first mass arrests of the Civil Rights Movement. The students became known as the “Richmond 34″.
50 years later, Richmond CenterStage is honoring the Sit-In participants with an all-day event which includes: an education forum, a luncheon, a historical marker dedication and a performance by John Legend. The event attracted corporate sponsors such as Altria, Dominion, Genworth Financial, Marriott Richmond and SunTrust. M. H. West & Co., Inc.’s, Marilyn West was pleased to attend the Courage to Stand Up: Yesterday’s Lessons for Today Luncheon at the Richmond Marriott. Marilyn noted that the Richmond 34 were extraordinary individuals who not only impacted Richmond, but the nation as a whole.