The date of Feb. 8, 1968 will be indelibly stamped in the minds of the people of Orangeburg and South Carolina. On this date, S.C. State University students Henry Smith and Samuel Hammond, along with 19-year-old Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School student Delano Middleton, were killed when at least nine South Carolina Highway Patrol troopers fired shots into a crowd of people protesting segregation at a local bowling alley. Twenty-eight students were wounded during the horrific incident.
This year, S.C. State will serve as host to two events commemorating the lives of those who fought for justice in the South.
On Friday, Feb. 8, S.C. State will hold a panel discussion on the impact the Orangeburg Massacre had on college campuses in 1968 and the importance that it still has on students today.
The panel discussion will begin at 10 a.m. in the Dr. Barbara A. Vaughan Fine Arts Recital Hall. Panelists will include Dr. Cleveland Sellers, president of Voorhees College in Denmark; Dr. Scott Brown, associate professor of history at the University of California, Los Angeles, Calif.; Dr. Emma McCain, retired educator and S.C. State student in 1968 and Dr. Jack Bass, co-author of “The Orangeburg Massacre.”
The university will also hold a commemoration ceremony at 3 p.m. honoring those involved in the Orangeburg Massacre, as well as the families of Smith, Hammond and Middleton.
This year’s commemoration, which will take place in the S.C. State University Memorial Plaza, will feature remarks by Jordan Simmons III. Simmons was one of those injured during the incident. He will share his recollections of the ordeal during the commemorative ceremony.
In addition, a one-hour documentary, “Scarred Justice: The Orangeburg Massacre 1968,” will air at 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, on ETV.
For more information on the events, call the Office of University Relations and Marketing at 803-536-7061.