Congress passes 18 U.S.C. 1509, making the obstruction of federal court desegregation orders a crime.

February
On the 1st, four freshmen from all-black North Carolina A&T College sit down at the Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, vowing to stay until the management agrees to desegregate it. No one serves them, and the store closes half an hour early. Eventually, lunch counter sit-ins take place across the state as well as in other parts of the South. The sit-in eventually becomes a vital tactic for civil rights protesters. A new organization, the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), grows out of the sit-ins.

November
John F. Kennedy is elected President.

December
In Boynton v. Virginia, 364 U.S. 454 (1960), the Supreme Court holds that a black patron of a restaurant located in an interstate bus terminal has a federal statutory right to be served without discrimination.