Precursors and organization
On the Monday following the first sit-in, the Baptist Minister's Conference of Nashville, representing 79 congregations, unanimously voted to support the student movement, thus throwing the weight of Nashville's black religious community behind the students. Local religious leaders called on people of good will to boycott downtown merchants who practiced segregation. Nashville's black community strongly supported the boycott, causing economic hardship for the merchants.The first large-scale organized sit-in was on Saturday, February 13, 1960. At about 12:30 pm, 124 students, most of them black, walked into the downtown Woolworths, S. H. Kress, and McClellan stores and asked to be served at the lunch counters. After the staff refused to serve them, they sat in the stores for two hours and then left without incident.
"Do not strike back or curse if abused. Do not laugh out. Do not hold conversations with the floor walker. Do not leave your seat until your leader has given you permission to do so. Do not block entrances to stores outside nor the aisles inside. Do show yourself courteous and friendly at all times. Do sit straight; always face the counter. Do report all serious incidents to your leader. Do refer information seekers to your leader in a polite manner. Remember the teachings of Jesus, Gandhi, Martin Luther King. Love and nonviolence is the way."