August Timeline


Robert Purvis, an abolitionist, participant in the Underground Railroad, and a founder of the American Anti-Slavery Society, was born in Charleston, S.C.


Archibald Grimke, one of the first African Americans to attend Harvard Law School and a recipient of the NAACP Spingarn Medal, was born near Charleston, S.C.


Following appeals by Civil War hero Robert Smalls and others, President Abraham Lincoln authorized the creation of the First South Carolina Volunteer Infantry Regiment Volunteers, an all-black military regiment who served during the Civil War.


Ernest Everett Just, biologist, Dartmouth College graduate, recipient of the NAACP Spingarn Medal, and a founder of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. was born in Charleston, S.C.


Benjamin Elijah Mays, educator, social activist, mentor to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the President of Morehouse College was born in Epworth, S.C.


One of the first African American models in the U.S., Ophelia DeVore-Mitchell was born in Edgefield, S.C.


Black voters in Columbia, including George Elmore, a native of Holly Hill, attempted to vote in the August primary but were turned away by Democratic Party officials. Harold Boulware, the head of the state NAACP legal committee, filed a class action lawsuit, Elmore v. Rice. In a ruling supporting Elmore, federal judge J. Waites Waring declared that it “is time for South Carolina to rejoin the Union.”


Charleston, S.C. Cannon Street YMCA All-Stars were named state little league baseball champions after all white teams refused to play them. Little League Baseball World Series officials ruled their state championship invalid, denying them the chance to compete in the World Series.


In Rock Hill, the NAACP and the Local for Promotion of Human Rights group, led by Rev. Cecil A. Ivory, began a bus boycott to protest racial segregation in public transportation.


Rev. I. DeQuincey Newman led a group of civil rights activists to attempt a “wade-in” at Myrtle Beach State Park. Park officials denied the group entry and closed the park. After being arrested near Conway for “driving too fast,” the police escorted Rev. Newman’s group to the Horry County line where they were then chased by a white mob.


Several days before Henrie Monteith was set to desegregate the University of South Carolina, a bomb exploded on her family property near Columbia. Despite the violence, Monteith and her family remained undeterred in their efforts to challenge segregation in higher education.

South Carolinians joined over 250,000 in Washington, DC for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Sumter native James T. McCain, a leader in the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) joined others in coordinating the logistics of the March. South Carolinian Dr. Benjamin E. Mays delivered the benediction.


President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law, enforcing the fifteenth amendment and helping to guarantee the right to vote for all Americans, regardless of race.

Tony Award, Academy Award, and Emmy Award winning actress Viola Davis was born in St. Matthews, S.C.