CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – Chapel Hill celebrated nine young black men who helped start civil rights demonstrations in the community. 

Men of the “Chapel Hill 9” were honored during a ceremony on Franklin Street. 

They protested there at the Colonial Drug Store 59 years ago. 

Four of them are still living today. They laid a rock down in the spot where a permanent marker will go to honor their movement. 

On Feb. 28, 1960, the nine young men sat at a booth in the Colonial Drug Store wanting the same service that was given to white customers.

Thursday, the town has called their actions a courageous step that sparked a decade of direct-action civil rights demonstrations in Chapel Hill.

The marker will be placed there next year, marking 60 years to the day the movement happened.