'Friendship Nine' cleared of 1961 civil rights sit-in crimes

James F. Wells (C) greets supporters after a group of black civil rights protesters
 nicknamed the "Friendship Nine" appeared at a courthouse to have their
trespassing convictions vacated in Rock Hill, South Carolina January 28, 2015.

"Black civil rights protesters credited with reinvigorating the 1960s U.S. sit-in movement were absolved by a South Carolina court on Wednesday of the convictions lodged against them 54 years ago after they dared to sit at a segregated lunch counter.

The men, known as the 'Friendship Nine' because most were students at the now-closed Friendship College, knew they would be arrested when they took seats at the popular McCrory's five-and-dime store lunch counter in Rock Hill on Jan. 31, 1961."
More:  Reuters