January 14, 1868

The South Carolina Constitutional Convention meets in Charleston to write a new state constitution. The majority African American convention creates a new, democratic constitution that allowed all men to vote, created integrated public schools, and established political equality regardless of race. As a result, South Carolina voters elected African American… Read More

1873 – 1877

As a part of the 1868 Constitution, all schools that received state funding must be opened to all persons despite color or previous condition. This meant that schools such as the University of South Carolina had to open their doors to African Americans for the first time in its existence. Read More

September 10, 1895

United States Senator Benjamin Tillman calls the South Carolina Constitutional Convention. With only a few African American representatives, including Robert Smalls, the convention does away with many of the gains made by the 1868 Constitution, including taking away the right to vote for almost all African Americans. This… Read More

November 10, 1939

Twenty-nine representatives from branches around South Carolina met in the Benedict College library in Columbia and founded the South Carolina NAACP State Conference of Branches. Read More


John Henry McCray establishes the Lighthouse and Informer newspaper which becomes the unofficial organ of the South Carolina NAACP Conference of Branches. Later this year, the Reverend James M. Hinton is elected president of the South Carolina NAACP Conference of Branches. Read More

July 21, 1942

Columbia NAACP President Rev. E.A. Adams and other members of the state conference form the Negro Citizens Committee of South Carolina (NCC) to rally support for a voting rights campaign. Read More

May 24, 1944

Led by Lighthouse and Informer editor John McCray, the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) held its first convention in Columbia. Read More

June 16, 1944

The state of South Carolina executed 14-year old George Stinney. An all-white jury had found him guilty of murdering two white girls in only ten minutes. In 2014, a judge threw out his conviction and called his execution “cruel and unusual punishment.”… Read More

May 26, 1945

Following a successful suit by black teachers in Charleston, black teachers filed suit for equal pay in Columbia’s public school system. Judge J. Waites Waring ruled in favor of Albert Thompson, a teacher at Booker T. Washington Heights school. Read More