GREENSBORO, NC -- Julia Montgomery was in downtown Greensboro February 1st, 1960 when the Sit-In movement was born. In fact she was in the Woolworth cafeteria that day when the Greensboro four were harassed and demeaned.
A moment that stayed with her all these years.
So when she learned Franklin McCain, one of the Greensboro Four, had died she was shocked.
"We need to thank his family too for the life he led," she said.
Montgomery was one of several women who gathered around a conference table at the Smith Senior Center Friday morning for their meeting of the Red Hat Society.
Women who had memories of the impact McCain and his friends made on the civil rights movement. The condolences poured in.
"Just know that your loved-one, your family member has meant a great deal to so many people," Debbie Brown extended to the family of McCain.
Brenda Morehead Tennie added, "Our deepest sympathy I hope God works with them to let them know what a great person, father, Grandfather he was and what an impact he made."
Silence fell over the room when the Red Hat Ladies learned that Franklin McCain had died.
"He is going to be missed. He's certainly going to be missed. But his legacy will live on," said Morehead Tennie.
A legacy that all in the room can attest to. It was evident.
Black and White women, in a social group, planning outings together.
Something unheard of when McCain and his three friends sat at the Woolworth lunch counter on February 1st 1960.
"When we went in that day, the sit-in was there. It was full of policemen and everything. And they were sitting there and it went on for some time," Julia Montgomery recalled.
"There was a lot of fear and there was a lot of fighting," Brown, now 56 years old, added.
But the impact the Greensboro Four made and McCain's courage to be a part of it was not lost on anyone in the room.
"I think we've probably lost someone that means a whole lot to the history of the whole country. I think he will be remembered in history," said Montgomery.
Morehead Tennie concluded, "What he did for us cannot be explained. And he will be missed."
READ: Franklin McCain, Of The Greensboro Four, Dies