Where We've Been
BY JILL CARROLL
It's February, the month we honor the history of black America.
Here are some dates to remember -- a series of snapshots to show us where we've been in South Carolina.
July 2, 1822 In Charleston, Denmark Vesey, a freed slave, is hanged for planning a slave insurrection. 35 people are hanged, 37 banished, and 27 tried and acquitted.
1870 In Laurens County, 13 members of the mostly black state militia are killed defending the government in a clash with the Ku Klux Klan.
December 1950 In Clarendon County, 40 parents file a lawsuit charging the segregated schools discriminated against their children. The lawsuit joins Brown vs. Board of Education.
July 1955 In Orangeburg, 57 blacks petition the school board for integration. In response, the Citizens' Council stops delivering goods to black stores, restaurants and gas stations, and many share croppers are evicted. The NAACP calls for a boycott of 23 white-owned businesses, as well as Coca-Cola, Sunbeam bread and Standard Oil.
February-March 1960 Students from Claflin College, Morris College and Friendship College conduct sit-ins.
March 15, 1960 In Orangeburg, demonstrators are drenched with fire hoses and are tear-gassed by police as they march to protest segregated lunch counters. In the largest single mass arrest at that time in the civil rights movement, 388 people are arrested, and another 373 are found guilty of breach of peace. (In 1963, the U.S. Supreme Court reverses the convictions.)
June-July 1963 In Charleston, members of the Carolina Student Movement Association boycott retailers, march to integrate lunch counters and demonstrate for equal employment opportunities. By mid-July, 87 small businesses promise to provide equal employment opportunities.
September 1963 In Orangeburg, protesters picket local merchants, badly disrupting business. In one week, 1,350 students from Claflin College and Wilkinson High School are arrested.
Aug. 6, 1965 Voting Rights Act becomes law. More than 220,000 blacks in the state register to vote.
Feb. 8, 1968 Orangeburg Massacre Highway patrolmen open fire on a crowd of black demonstrators at South Carolina State College after several days of protests over racial discrimination in the community. Three are killed, 27 wounded.
Jan. 21, 1997 In Columbia, 500 religious leaders march from Trinity Cathedral to the temporary State House and hold a silent vigil to support removing the Confederate battle flag from the State House dome.