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April 16, 1868
A new S.C. constitution, shaped by African American leaders, is adopted. The 1868 constitution required integrated education and contained a strong bill of rights section that protected citizens of all races.
April 11, 1877
Following the Hayes-Tilden Compromise, federal troops were removed from S.C., setting the stage for the collapse of the state’s Reconstruction government and the resurgence of white Democratic leadership.
April 25, 1906
The Palmetto Medical Association, comprised of African American physicians, dentists, and pharmacists, gathered in Camden to mark its 10th Anniversary.
April 4, 1949
Allen University sponsored a performance by famed vocalist Marian Anderson at Columbia’s Township Auditorium.
April 17, 1963
After being denied access to Columbia’s Township Auditorium, Nation of Islam minister Malcolm X spoke at a small mosque in Columbia. The Muslim leader bitterly denounced Columbia’s political leaders and African American supporters of integration.
April 18, 1963
The first rounds of the Brown v. South Carolina Forestry Commission lawsuit began on this day. This case, brought by African Americans, claimed they were turned away from two white state parks of the SC State Park System in 1960 and 1961.
April 25, 1963
U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy spoke at the University of South Carolina about the national government’s role in eliminating racial discrimination.
April 30, 1967
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at the Greenville S.C. Memorial Auditorium. In his address, King remarks: “It is time for a Second Reconstruction in South Carolina.”
April 28, 1969
Journalists reported that armed students at Voorhees College in Denmark took over the library and other offices on campus to protest conditions and to “obtain a more meaningful education in the interest of black people.”
April 5, 1983
Attorneys Luther J. Battiste, III and E. W. Cromartie, II were sworn in as the first African Americans on the Columbia City Council since the Reconstruction era.
April 20, 2010
Stephen K. Benjamin was elected as Columbia’s first African American mayor.