October Timeline


The New South newspaper in Beaufort reports about plans to develop a “Negro village” that will provide African Americans “more comfort and freedom of improvement” on Hilton Head Island. The village would soon be known as Mitchelville.


Benjamin F. Randolph, state senator and chairman of the state Republican party, was assassinated as he campaigned at Hodges Depot in Abbeville, S.C.


President Ulysses Grant suspended the writ of habeas corpus and declared martial law in nine S.C. counties affected by white Ku Klux Klan attacks and violence.


During an election for state officers, the following African Americans were elected: Richard Gleaves, Lieutenant Governor; Henry E. Hayne, Secretary of State; and Francis Cardoza, State Treasurer.


Henry E. Hayne, the black Republican Secretary of State of S.C., registered as a student in the University of South Carolina’s Medical School, becoming the first known African American student in the university’s history. His enrolled led to the departure of white students and professors.


Friendship Institute, a private school in Rock Hill held its first classes. Later, named Friendship Junior College, the school trained generations of ministers, educators, and other professionals from around the state until it closed in 1981.


John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie, jazz trumpeter and Bebop musician, was born in Cheraw, S.C.


Civil rights leader and two-time presidential candidate Jesse Jackson was born in Greenville, S.C.


Unionized workers from the Charleston American Tobacco Company Cigar Factor, comprised largely of African American women and men, launched a five-month strike demanding better wages and working conditions. One of their protest songs, “We Will Overcome” was later revised into the civil rights anthem “We Shall Overcome.”


The Southern Negro Youth Congress held a series of civil rights sessions in Columbia, attracting students from across the nation and other countries. Speakers included Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois, singer Paul Robeson, and Columbia organizers, Modjeska Monteith Simkins, John H. McCray, and Dr. Annie Belle Weston.


Students from Allen University & Benedict College formed the Student Conference for Human Rights in order to aid cross campus & city-wide organizing.


When Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway, he was joined by a number of close associates, including Charleston educator Septima P. Clark, who directed citizenship training programs for King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference.


Winnsboro native Sergeant 1st Class Webster Anderson of the 101st Airborne Division was severely injured while successfully defending his artillery position from sustained enemy attack. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.


Rev. I. DeQuincey Newman, a native of Darlington County, was elected as a S.C. State Senator from Richland County, becoming the first African American to serve since 1888.