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Greensboro is the third-largest city, by population, in North Carolina and the largest city in Guilford County and the surrounding Piedmont Triad metropolitan region. Its estimated 2007 population was 248,111.
The city was named for Major General Nathanael Greene, commander of the American forces at the Battle of Guilford Court House on March 15, 1781.
Greensboro evolved from a small center of government to an early 1900s textile and transportation hub, and today is emerging as one of the South's up-and-coming centers for relocating businesses. Greensboro is still collecting accolades for its beauty and livability. In 2004 the U.S. Department of Energy awarded Greensboro with entry into the Clean Cities Hall of Fame.
Notable companies headquartered in Greensboro include the Honda Aircraft Co., Lorillard Tobacco Co., VF Corp., Sygenta, Volvo Trucks of North America, RF Micro Devices, the International Textile Group, NewBridge Bank, Cook Out, Biscuitville and Gilbarco Veeder-Root. Greensboro also is a center of operations for the insurance company Lincoln Financial Group.
Although traditionally associated with the textile and tobacco industries, Greensboro leaders are working to attract new businesses in the nanotech, high-tech and transportation/logistics sectors. In 1998, FedEx chose to build and operate a $300 million mid-Atlantic air-cargo and sorting hub at Piedmont Triad International Airport.
Greensboro also is home to a number of colleges and universities: the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, N.C A&T University, Bennett College, Greensboro College, Guilford College, Guilford Technical Community College and the Elon University School of Law.
Greensboro continues to pay homage to one of its most historic moments. On February 1, 1960, four African-American college students sat down at an all-white F.W. Woolworth's lunch counter, and refused to leave after they were denied service. Hundreds of others soon joined in this sit-in – and the Civil Rights Movement gained momentum. The International Civil Rights Center and Museum opened in the former F.W. Woolworth site in early 2010.