February 18, 1961

Mounting pressure from the black community and the arrest of student demonstrators at bus stations force the Greyhound bus terminal in Columbia to serve customers on an equal basis. Read More

March 2, 1961

190 protesters were arrested following an NAACP-planned demonstration on the South Carolina State House grounds. A lawsuit filed on their behalf–Edwards v. South Carolina— reached the United States Supreme Court. On February 25, 1963, the court ruled that the 14th Amendment forbids a state “to make criminal the peaceful expression… Read More

March 5, 1961

Benedict College students Lennie Glover and David Carter were on a routine check of a sit-in at Woolworth’s when Glover was stabbed by an unknown assailant. He eventually recovered and returned to rejoin demonstrations. Read More

March 24-26, 1961

In response to the Glover stabbing, African American students led a boycott of Main Street businesses. The “Easter Lennie Glover No Buying Campaign” featured daily picketing and sit-ins. Read More

May 10, 1961

Freedom Rides, organized by the Congress on Racial Equality, arrived in Columbia on May 10. With white and black riders on buses, they intended to test the federal desegregation of interstate travel. They faced violence in Rock Hill and Winnsboro, South Carolina before they arrived in Columbia. Read More


State legislators vote to raise the Confederate Battle Flag atop the State House. Read More

January 9, 1963

In his final speech as Governor, Ernest F. Hollings states that the day of segregation has passed. He calls for the integration process to be handled “with dignity.”… Read More

January 28, 1963

Accompanied by Columbia attorney Matthew Perry, Harvey Gantt, a native of Charleston, arrives at Clemson University and enrolls as the first African American student. Read More

April 17, 1963

After being denied permission to speak at the Township Auditorium, Nation of Islam leader Malcolm X gives a fiery address at a mosque in Columbia. He bitterly denounced Columbia’s political leaders and African American supporters of integration. Read More