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The historic Briggs family Bible has been placed in the Cecil Williams Civil Rights Museum by members of the Briggs family. 

An invitation-only dedication was held Sunday, Sept. 8. It was attended by more than ten Palmetto State historians, members of the Briggs family and state, county and political officials.

Nathaniel Briggs and Catherine Eliza Briggs Smith, son and daughter of Harry Briggs Sr., original petitioner in the Briggs v. Elliott school desegregation case, were on hand to make the presentation of the Bible that has been in the Briggs family for more than 100 years.

“The museum you have created is a remarkable achievement and the acquisition of the Briggs Bible (and the clock) are just amazing accomplishments of major importance and I hope it will bring attention to the South Carolina's leading role in the civil rights movement,” Clemson University history professor Dr. Vernon Burton said.

Briggs vs. Elliott and several other cases were consolidated into Brown vs. Board of Education, the case in which the U.S. Supreme Court in 1954 outlawed separate schools for blacks and whites.

“For over four decades, museums all over the country have been seeking the historic Briggs family Bible, but now it is available for all to see,” said Cecil Williams, founder of the first museum in the state centering on the civil rights movement.

“I am also asking the public to consider donating historically significant artifacts from the era of the South Carolina civil rights movement to the museum,” he said.

The Cecil Williams Civil Rights Museum in Orangeburg, featuring, “The South Carolina Events That Changed America,” recently opened by appointment for visitors and tours. It displays 35 historically significant exhibits consisting of 500 photographs and over 200 artifacts.

For more information regarding the museum or to book a tour, visit cecilwilliams.com or call 803-531-1662.

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