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North Carolina educator and superintendent of public schools in Greensboro, N.C. The papers of Benjamin Lee Smith, North Carolina educator and Duke University alumnus, span the years 1916-1961, and contain correspondence, memoranda, clippings, and other printed material related to public education at both the local and state levels in North Carolina. There are also several dozen photographs of N.C. school buildings and personnel, circa 1930s-1950s. Papers are arranged in the following series: Correspondence, Subject Files (the largest series in the collection), Clippings, Printed Material, and Speeches. Other topics include prohibition and the elections of 1928, and religion and politics in North Carolina. A small but significant amount of material concerns school integration in Greensboro and associated civil rights issues in North Carolina (located within boxes 10, 11, 14-16, 21, 24, 26 and 31). Collection also includes material on charitable organizations in which Smith was active, especially the Methodist Church, North Carolina Education Association (NCEA), Kiwanis Club, Boy Scouts, and the Horace Mann League.

The papers of Benjamin Lee Smith, North Carolina educator and Duke University alumnus, span the years 1916-1961, and contain correspondence, memoranda, clippings, and other printed material related to public education at both the local and state levels in North Carolina. There are also several dozen photographs of N.C. school buildings and personnel, circa 1930s-1950s. Papers are arranged in the following series: Correspondence, Subject Files (the largest series in the collection), Clippings, Printed Material, and Speeches. Other topics include prohibition and the elections of 1928, and religion and politics in North Carolina. A small but significant amount of material concerns school integration in Greensboro and associated civil rights issues in North Carolina (located within boxes 10, 11, 14-16, 21, 24, 26 and 31). Collection also includes material on charitable organizations in which Smith was active, especially the Methodist Church, North Carolina Education Association (NCEA), Kiwanis Club, Boy Scouts, and the Horace Mann League.

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Several hundred letters and petitions, dated February-March 1960, from citizens of Greensboro, N.C. to Chairman Edward Raymond Zane and other members of the Advisory Committee on Community Relations, expressing support for or opposition to integrated seating at the Woolworth and Kress lunch counters in the wake of the Greensboro sit-in demonstrations of early February 1960.

Collection contains several hundred letters and petitions from citizens of Greensboro expressing support for or opposition to integrated seating at the city's lunch counters, specifically at Woolworth's and Kress.

The letters, dated February-March 1960, are chiefly addressed to Zane as Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Community Relations in Greensboro or to Mayor George Roach and other members of the Advisory Committee. As Chairman of the Advisory Committee, Zane wrote an article in the Greensboro Daily News in the wake of the sit-ins soliciting the opinions of Greensboro citizens concerning the integration of lunch counters at Woolworth's and Kress.

Zane asked citizens to consider five alternatives to the situation: 1) "The situation to remain as it is," 2) "The two establishments to remove seats and serve everyone standing," 3) "The two establishments to serve everyone seated," 4) "The two establishments to reserve separate areas for seated white people and seated Negroes," and 5) "The two establishments to discontinue serving food."

Letters from both whites and African Americans offer support or opposition to Zane's alternatives and document sentiment regarding race relations in the community.