October Timeline

1862

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.

1868

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

1871

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.

1872

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.

1873

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.

1891

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.

1917

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

1941

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

1945

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.”

1946

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.

1960

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

1964

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.

1967

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.

1983

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.

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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