"McCain and his classmates walked into the store, purchased some items and then walked over to the segregated counter. McCain recalls:
" ‘Fifteen seconds after I sat on that stool, I had the most wonderful feeling. I had a feeling of liberation, restored manhood; I had a natural high. And I truly felt almost invincible.’
"He hadn’t even asked for service. When McCain and the others did, they were denied. A manager told them they weren’t welcome, a police officer patted his hand with his night stick. The tension grew but it never turned violent.
"As McCain and the others continued to sit at the counter, an older white woman who had been observing the scene walked up behind him:
" ‘And she whispered in a calm voice,boys, I’m so proud of you.’
"McCain says he was stunned:
" ‘What I learned from that little incident was don’t you ever, ever stereotype anybody in this life until you at least experience them and have the opportunity to talk to them."
"Woolworth’s closed early and the four men returned to campus with empty stomachs and no idea about what they had just started. The next day another 20 students joined them and 300 came out by the end of the week. Word of the sit-ins spread by newspapers and demonstrations began in Winston-Salem, Durham, Asheville and Wilmington; within 2 months of the initial sit-in, 54 cities in nine different states had movements of their own.
"The Greensboro lunch counter desegregated six months later."