February Timeline


Henry McNeal Turner, AME minister and the first African American appointed by President Lincoln as a chaplain in the U.S. Army in 1863, was born in Hannah Circuit near Newberry, S.C.


Jonathan Jasper Wright, a state senator from Beaufort County, was elected as an Associate Justice of the S.C. Supreme Court, becoming its first African American member.


Charlotta Amanda Bass, a newspaper editor and the first African American woman nominated for the office of Vice President in 1952 as a candidate of the Progressive Party, was born in Sumter, S.C.


Frazier Baker, a Republican appointed African American post-master of Lake City, S.C., and his
two-year old daughter were lynched in an attack by a white mob. Other members of the Baker family were severely injured. The known assailants were never convicted.


Georgetown, S.C. native Dr. William A. Sinclair, born enslaved in 1858 and studied at the University of South Carolina, helped create the NAACP.


Acclaimed writer and civil rights organizer James Weldon Johnson informed the national headquarters of the NAACP that new branches were established in Charleston and Columbia.


Clarence Mitchell, the National Director of the NAACP and a Baptist minister Rev. Horace Sharper, were arrested in Florence when they enter a “white’s only” door at the local train station. Charges against the two leaders were later dismissed.


Days after protests in Greensboro, N.C., the first sit-ins in S.C. began in Rock Hill when nearly 100 students sit-in at Woolworth’s and McCrory’s.


The South Carolina Council on Human Relations (SCCHR) Student Council hosted its first student workshop at Allen University. The workshop entitled “The Role of the Student in Achieving Human Rights” included a keynote address from veteran organizer Ella Baker.

Students were arrested after attempting to integrate a skating rink in Greenville’s Cleveland Park. In a lawsuit named Walker v. Shaw, the students were defended by NAACP attorneys Donald J. Sampson, Matthew J. Perry, and Lincoln C. Jenkins.


In the ruling Edwards v. South Carolina, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that the State may not “make criminal the peaceful expression of unpopular views.” The lawsuit was filed after 187 student demonstrators were arrested following protests against segregation on the grounds of the S.C. State House.


Actor, comedian, and author Chris Rock was born in Andrews, S.C.


During demonstrations protesting segregation at a local bowling alley in Orangeburg, S.C. Highway Patrolmen opened fire on the campus of South Carolina State College, killing three students and wounding dozens of others. The event became known as the “Orangeburg Massacre.”