Gloria D. Thompson was born in 1946 to parents Clarence and Ethel Thompson. The Thompson family lived in Arlington's African American Hall's Hill neighborhood. Her mother Ethel was involved with the NAACP and added her children to Arlington's school integration cases. On February 2, 1959 twelve-year-old Gloria became one of four black students, and the only female, to integrate Arlington's Stratford Junior High School. She joined fellow Hall's Hill residents Ronald Deskins, Michael Jones, and Lance Newman. Stratford was the first school to integrate in the state of Virginia. After participating in such a major Civil Rights victory, Gloria continued her activism as a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

Collection: Civil Rights

On June 23, 1960, after two weeks of coordinated sit-in efforts across the county, leaders from the Non-Violent Action Group (NAG) enjoy cups of coffee at the Drug Fair. The company announced the day before that it would integrate its lunch counters in the Washington area. Within weeks more restaurants and lunch counters in Arlington desegregated their services as a result of the sit-ins.

Those pictured include Dion Diamond (corner seat),Laurence Henry (far right), and Paul Dietrich (second from left).

Collection: Civil Rights
1960 peoples drug store sit in, AP (6).jpg