History-Buffs Will Love This Underrated East Coast City

Compared to the medieval and ancient artifacts found in other parts of the world, the historic monuments and preserved sites in the United States are practically modern. Nonetheless, over the past few hundred years, the nation has seen remarkable developments and established its own historical heritage. Greensboro, North Carolina, stands as a testament to this historical richness. Revel in the history of the Revolutionary War and the Civil Rights Movement in this southern city. 

North Carolina's third-largest city, Greensboro is a charming, vibrant destination situated in the northern-central region of the state. Established in 1808, this historic American city has witnessed many significant and nationally celebrated events. On a trip to Greensboro, history enthusiasts can immerse themselves in the city's past by exploring the very locations where impactful events occurred, like Revolutionary War battles and Civil Rights protests. Additionally, visitors can delve into the city's profound educational museums, gaining valuable insights into the nation's history.

Learn about the Revolutionary War while visiting Greensboro

From 1775-1783, the Revolutionary War waged on in North America as colonists battled for independence from British rule, leading to the birth of the United States of America. Greensboro was one of the very places that brought the U.S. closer to winning its national sovereignty. In 1781 at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in Greensboro, American troops "defeated" British soldiers (they technically lost the battle, but proved strong resistance), leading to victory over the Carolinas. As a result, the town of Greensboro was named after Nathaniel Greene, the American commander who led this momentous battle.

Today, visitors can explore the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park where this historic victory was won. To get a deeper understanding of what happened that day, we recommend you stop at the Visitor Center for information about the park.

If you are still curious about this time period after leaving the Guildford Courthouse, you should definitely check out the Greensboro History Museum. In addition to the museum's host of fascinating exhibits, the museum offers an inside look into buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Visit a monumental landmark from the Civil Rights Movement

Not only did Greensboro play a significant role in the Revolutionary War, but it also played a pivotal role in the American Civil Rights Movement. In fact, it is considered to be the location of one of the very first sit-in protests performed in the U.S. during the movement. Between February 1 and July 25 in 1960, a series of non-violent protests against segregation occurred in Greensboro known as the Woolworth Sit-in.

On February 1, 1960, four black men, Ezell Blair Jr., David Richmond, Franklin McCain, and Joseph McNeil, sat at the counter of the Woolworth Five and Dime store, where only white customers were served. They chose to sit at the counter until they were given service, staying until closing time. They continued to do so in the days that followed. By the fourth day, these men had over 300 protestors sitting along with them. By July 25, Woolworth's finally desegregated its restaurant, catalyzing much of the change that would overcome the country in the years that followed.

Today, the very building that was home to this Woolworth's is now the International Civil Rights Center and Museum. Here, you can see the actual stools where these famous activists took their seats, now preserved as a historic landmark. In addition, you'll find a variety of educational exhibitions offering a fascinating look into Black history in the U.S. and the Civil Rights Movement.