Four black college students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College sat down at an all-white Woolworth's lunch counter, and refused to leave after they were denied service. The four students purchased small items in other parts of the store and kept their receipts, then sat down at the lunch counter and asked to be served. After being denied service, they produced their receipts and asked why their money was good everywhere else at the store, but not at the lunch counter. Hundreds of others soon joined in this sit-in, which lasted several months. Such protests quickly spread across the South, ultimately leading to the desegregation of Woolworth's and other chains.