Published on October 30, 2016
1. Civil Rights Issues
2. The Hamburg massacre (or Hamburg riot) was a key event in South Carolina during July 1876, leading up to the last election season of the Reconstruction Era. It was the first of a series of civil disturbances, many of which Democrats planned in the majority- black/Republican Edgefield District, to disrupt Republican meetings and suppress black voting through actual and threatened violence. Beginning with a dispute nominally over free passage on a public road, this incident was based on racial and political grounds. A court hearing attracted armed white militia numbering more than one hundred, including members of Red Shirts paramilitary groups. They attacked about 30 black militia of the National Guard at the armory, killing two as they tried to leave that night. Later that night the Red Shirts murdered four freedmen of the militia while holding them as prisoners, and wounded several others. In total, the events in Hamburg resulted in the death of one white man and six freedmen; several more blacks were wounded by the white mob. Although 94 white men were indicted for murder by a coroner's jury, none was prosecuted.
3. • The Orangeburg Massacre took place in Orangeburg, South Carolina at South Carolina State University on February 8th, 1968. • This horrific incident which ended with three young men, Samuel Hammond, Henry Smith, and Delano Middleton, killed and 27 other students wounded, was the worst example of violence on a college campus in South Carolina’s history. • The incident began when approximately 200 students gathered on February 6 to protest the segregation of black patrons at the nearby All Star Bowling lane. • The first demonstration proceeded without incident. The following night many of the students returned to resume the protest but in this instance fifteen of them were arrested. • The third night, February 8th, tensions were already running high on both sides from the previous night’s arrests. • Nine officers were held responsible for the shootings and were brought to trial on charges of excessive force at a campus protest. • All nine were acquitted of all charges. • The only person who was charged and sent to prison as a result of this incident was Cleveland Sellers, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) representative who was convicted of inciting the riot that had led to the shootings. Sellers was later pardoned for his role in the incident. • The day after the shootings Governor Robert E. McNair spoke of this as “one of the saddest days in the history of South Carolina”.
4. 1903 - South Carolina – Railroads [Statute] Amended 1900 law stating that railroads were required to furnish separate apartments for white and colored passengers only on passenger trains, not on freight trains. (Jim Crow History.org) 1905 - South Carolina – Streetcars [Statute] Authorized streetcars to separate the races in their cars. Penalty: Conductors who failed to enforce the law could be fined up to $100, or imprisoned for up to 30 days for each offense. (Jim Crow History.org) South Carolina – Railroads [Statute]
5. Woodrow Wilson Administration, 1913-1921 In the Wilson administration’s first congressional session “there were no less than twenty bills advocating ‘Jim Crow’ cars in the District of Columbia, race segregation of Federal employees, excluding negroes from commissions in the army and navy, forbidding the intermarriage of negroes and whites, and excluding all immigrants of Negro descent. (Gilmore, 18) President Wilson issues an executive order segregating the federal government’s operations in Washington. (Gilmore, 18) Wilson segregates the federal civil service. (Brown and Stentiford, 679) President Wilson segregates the U.S. Navy and replaces negroes who hold appointed offices with whites. (Brown and Stentiford, 564)
6. 1922 - Dyer anti-lynching bill passes the House with Republican support, but fails in the Senate due to Southern Democratic resistance. (Brown and Stentiford, 256) 1928 - Anti-lynching bill dies in Congress. (Brown and Stentiford, 256)
7. 1935 - South Carolina – Education [Statute] Required school bus drivers to be of the same race as the children they transported. (Jim Crow History.org) 1936 -Jesse Owens wins four gold medals at the Summer Olympics in Berlin. (Brown and Stentiford, xxvi 1941- January – The 332nd Fighter Group – Tuskegee Airmen – of the Army Air Corps forms. (Brown and Stentiford, xxvi)
8. 1947 President Truman’s Committee on Civil Rights issues its 178-page report, “To Secure These Rights.” The report calls for laws requiring states to end discrimination in education, mandating a ban against discrimination in the armed services, laws to guarantee fair employment practices for blacks, federal prohibition of lynching, repeal of poll taxes and other discriminatory voting restrictions, denial of federal grants when discrimination in evidence, an expanded civil rights division at the Justice Department, creation of permanent civil rights commissions at the federal and state levels, specific federal ban on police brutality, and enforcement of a Supreme Court decision against restrictive real estate covenants. (Roberts and Klibanoff, 38)
9. 1948 - A group of Southern Democrats form the States Rights Democratic Party to oppose the reelection of Harry Truman because of his proposed civil rights program. (Brown and Stentiford, 233) By 1949, at least 17 states – Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia – and the District of Columbia had enacted laws requiring racial segregation of public school children. Four other states – Arizona, Kansas, New Mexico, and Wyoming – provided for a local option in determing whether to segregate public education. Wyoming was the only state that did not exercise this option. (Brown and Stentiford, 104) South Carolina South Carolina