April Timeline

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.

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.

1906

The Palmetto Medical Association, comprised of African American physicians, dentists, and pharmacists, gathered in Camden to mark its 10th Anniversary.

1949

Allen University sponsored a performance by famed vocalist Marian Anderson at Columbia’s Township Auditorium.

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.

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.

U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy spoke at the University of South Carolina about the national government’s role in eliminating racial discrimination.

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.”

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.”

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.

2010

Stephen K. Benjamin was elected as Columbia’s first African American mayor.

The 2023 South Carolina African American History Calendar Unveiling Ceremony will be on Tuesday, October 4th at the Koger Center. The event will begin at 7:00 p.m. followed by a calendar signing afterwards. The event is free and open to the public.
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