Just two days shy of serving their full sentence, The Friendship 9 was let out of York County Prison Farm early. The reason was not because of good behavior, or that the system saw their mistake and this was an apology. Instead, they let them out early so that the press would not be able to cover it.
The prison guards and officials loaded the men into a pick-up truck and dropped them off a mile or so from Friendship College. No one was notified of them being let out either, so they walked into town and back to their homes.
The tactics to avoid high volumes of media coverage worked, and there are barely any records via pictures or video of them leaving prison. But, the legacy of their actions and their 30 day sentence to hard labor was not forgotten, in fact, it gave inspiration to the sit-in movement and the Civil Rights Movement on the whole.
After a weary year of sit-ins and bail outs in the South throughout 1960, The Friendship 9 and their gutsy decision follow through on “Jail, No Bail” put wind back into activists’ sails. It showed that anyone, at any age, had the power to start change.