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Few remember the Orangeburg Massacre, which happened 50 years ago on Feb. 8, 1968

It was one of the first deadly confrontations on a college campus

2:30 PMFifty years ago Thursday, three students died on the campus of South Carolina State University in the Orangeburg Massacre. Yet, years later, few people know about it.

On Thursday, the university and others honored their legacy and its role in the protest that led up to the massacre in a commemoration, Remembering History, Inspiring Hope and Embracing Healing. With students, faculty, community leaders, law enforcement and residents, they hope to remember “one of the saddest days in the history of South Carolina” with a renewed commitment to optimism, inspiration and understanding.

On the night of Feb. 8, 1968, hundreds of students had gathered on campus for a third night of protests after a long series of clashes with local law enforcement and politicians. They were facing dozens of South Carolina highway troopers and National Guard troops, with military vehicles and a heavy law enforcement presence.

The protests started because of racial segregation at a local bowling alley.

Harry Floyd, owner of the segregated bowling alley in Orangeburg, S.C., over which civil rights demonstrations ended in the death of three students, points to the “privately owned” sign on the front door, Feb. 10, 1968.

AP Photo

South Carolina State University students Marvis President, right, and Kyle Williams, left, take part in a re-enactment Thursday, Feb. 7, 2008, of the picketing of a local bowling alley that led to the death of three college students and wounding of 28 others as part of a 40th commemoration ceremony of the Orangeburg Massacre in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain

The troopers, saying they heard sniper fire, started shooting at the students. Amid the running and screaming in the ensuing chaos, S.C. State students Samuel Hammond and Henry Smith died along with Delano Middleton, and 27 others were injured.

The Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center, South Carolina State’s on-campus arena, was renamed in honor of the three victims. It was opened the same year as the massacre.

It was one of the first deadly confrontations between college students and law enforcement in the United States, and it happened two years before the Kent State University shootings and two months before the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Orangeburg, located between Columbia and Charleston, is the home of S.C. State University and Claflin College, both historically black colleges and universities. Students from both schools were involved in the protests.

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2:30 PMFifty years ago Thursday, three students died on the campus of South Carolina State University in the Orangeburg Massacre. Yet, years later, few people know about it.

On Thursday, the university and others honored their legacy and its role in the protest that led up to the massacre in a commemoration, Remembering History, Inspiring Hope and Embracing Healing. With students, faculty, community leaders, law enforcement and residents, they hope to remember “one of the saddest days in the history of South Carolina” with a renewed commitment to optimism, inspiration and understanding.

On the night of Feb. 8, 1968, hundreds of students had gathered on campus for a third night of protests after a long series of clashes with local law enforcement and politicians. They were facing dozens of South Carolina highway troopers and National Guard troops, with military vehicles and a heavy law enforcement presence.

The protests started because of racial segregation at a local bowling alley.

Harry Floyd, owner of the segregated bowling alley in Orangeburg, S.C., over which civil rights demonstrations ended in the death of three students, points to the “privately owned” sign on the front door, Feb. 10, 1968.

AP Photo

South Carolina State University students Marvis President, right, and Kyle Williams, left, take part in a re-enactment Thursday, Feb. 7, 2008, of the picketing of a local bowling alley that led to the death of three college students and wounding of 28 others as part of a 40th commemoration ceremony of the Orangeburg Massacre in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain

The troopers, saying they heard sniper fire, started shooting at the students. Amid the running and screaming in the ensuing chaos, S.C. State students Samuel Hammond and Henry Smith died along with Delano Middleton, and 27 others were injured.

The Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center, South Carolina State’s on-campus arena, was renamed in honor of the three victims. It was opened the same year as the massacre.

It was one of the first deadly confrontations between college students and law enforcement in the United States, and it happened two years before the Kent State University shootings and two months before the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Orangeburg, located between Columbia and Charleston, is the home of S.C. State University and Claflin College, both historically black colleges and universities. Students from both schools were involved in the protests.

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2:30 PMFifty years ago Thursday, three students died on the campus of South Carolina State University in the Orangeburg Massacre. Yet, years later, few people know about it.

On Thursday, the university and others honored their legacy and its role in the protest that led up to the massacre in a commemoration, Remembering History, Inspiring Hope and Embracing Healing. With students, faculty, community leaders, law enforcement and residents, they hope to remember “one of the saddest days in the history of South Carolina” with a renewed commitment to optimism, inspiration and understanding.

On the night of Feb. 8, 1968, hundreds of students had gathered on campus for a third night of protests after a long series of clashes with local law enforcement and politicians. They were facing dozens of South Carolina highway troopers and National Guard troops, with military vehicles and a heavy law enforcement presence.

The protests started because of racial segregation at a local bowling alley.

Harry Floyd, owner of the segregated bowling alley in Orangeburg, S.C., over which civil rights demonstrations ended in the death of three students, points to the “privately owned” sign on the front door, Feb. 10, 1968.

AP Photo

South Carolina State University students Marvis President, right, and Kyle Williams, left, take part in a re-enactment Thursday, Feb. 7, 2008, of the picketing of a local bowling alley that led to the death of three college students and wounding of 28 others as part of a 40th commemoration ceremony of the Orangeburg Massacre in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain

The troopers, saying they heard sniper fire, started shooting at the students. Amid the running and screaming in the ensuing chaos, S.C. State students Samuel Hammond and Henry Smith died along with Delano Middleton, and 27 others were injured.

The Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center, South Carolina State’s on-campus arena, was renamed in honor of the three victims. It was opened the same year as the massacre.

It was one of the first deadly confrontations between college students and law enforcement in the United States, and it happened two years before the Kent State University shootings and two months before the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Orangeburg, located between Columbia and Charleston, is the home of S.C. State University and Claflin College, both historically black colleges and universities. Students from both schools were involved in the protests.

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2:30 PMFifty years ago Thursday, three students died on the campus of South Carolina State University in the Orangeburg Massacre. Yet, years later, few people know about it.

On Thursday, the university and others honored their legacy and its role in the protest that led up to the massacre in a commemoration, Remembering History, Inspiring Hope and Embracing Healing. With students, faculty, community leaders, law enforcement and residents, they hope to remember “one of the saddest days in the history of South Carolina” with a renewed commitment to optimism, inspiration and understanding.

On the night of Feb. 8, 1968, hundreds of students had gathered on campus for a third night of protests after a long series of clashes with local law enforcement and politicians. They were facing dozens of South Carolina highway troopers and National Guard troops, with military vehicles and a heavy law enforcement presence.

The protests started because of racial segregation at a local bowling alley.

Harry Floyd, owner of the segregated bowling alley in Orangeburg, S.C., over which civil rights demonstrations ended in the death of three students, points to the “privately owned” sign on the front door, Feb. 10, 1968.

AP Photo

South Carolina State University students Marvis President, right, and Kyle Williams, left, take part in a re-enactment Thursday, Feb. 7, 2008, of the picketing of a local bowling alley that led to the death of three college students and wounding of 28 others as part of a 40th commemoration ceremony of the Orangeburg Massacre in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain

The troopers, saying they heard sniper fire, started shooting at the students. Amid the running and screaming in the ensuing chaos, S.C. State students Samuel Hammond and Henry Smith died along with Delano Middleton, and 27 others were injured.

The Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center, South Carolina State’s on-campus arena, was renamed in honor of the three victims. It was opened the same year as the massacre.

It was one of the first deadly confrontations between college students and law enforcement in the United States, and it happened two years before the Kent State University shootings and two months before the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Orangeburg, located between Columbia and Charleston, is the home of S.C. State University and Claflin College, both historically black colleges and universities. Students from both schools were involved in the protests.

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2:30 PMFifty years ago Thursday, three students died on the campus of South Carolina State University in the Orangeburg Massacre. Yet, years later, few people know about it.

On Thursday, the university and others honored their legacy and its role in the protest that led up to the massacre in a commemoration, Remembering History, Inspiring Hope and Embracing Healing. With students, faculty, community leaders, law enforcement and residents, they hope to remember “one of the saddest days in the history of South Carolina” with a renewed commitment to optimism, inspiration and understanding.

On the night of Feb. 8, 1968, hundreds of students had gathered on campus for a third night of protests after a long series of clashes with local law enforcement and politicians. They were facing dozens of South Carolina highway troopers and National Guard troops, with military vehicles and a heavy law enforcement presence.

The protests started because of racial segregation at a local bowling alley.

Harry Floyd, owner of the segregated bowling alley in Orangeburg, S.C., over which civil rights demonstrations ended in the death of three students, points to the “privately owned” sign on the front door, Feb. 10, 1968.

AP Photo

South Carolina State University students Marvis President, right, and Kyle Williams, left, take part in a re-enactment Thursday, Feb. 7, 2008, of the picketing of a local bowling alley that led to the death of three college students and wounding of 28 others as part of a 40th commemoration ceremony of the Orangeburg Massacre in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain

The troopers, saying they heard sniper fire, started shooting at the students. Amid the running and screaming in the ensuing chaos, S.C. State students Samuel Hammond and Henry Smith died along with Delano Middleton, and 27 others were injured.

The Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center, South Carolina State’s on-campus arena, was renamed in honor of the three victims. It was opened the same year as the massacre.

It was one of the first deadly confrontations between college students and law enforcement in the United States, and it happened two years before the Kent State University shootings and two months before the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Orangeburg, located between Columbia and Charleston, is the home of S.C. State University and Claflin College, both historically black colleges and universities. Students from both schools were involved in the protests.

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2:30 PMFifty years ago Thursday, three students died on the campus of South Carolina State University in the Orangeburg Massacre. Yet, years later, few people know about it.

On Thursday, the university and others honored their legacy and its role in the protest that led up to the massacre in a commemoration, Remembering History, Inspiring Hope and Embracing Healing. With students, faculty, community leaders, law enforcement and residents, they hope to remember “one of the saddest days in the history of South Carolina” with a renewed commitment to optimism, inspiration and understanding.

On the night of Feb. 8, 1968, hundreds of students had gathered on campus for a third night of protests after a long series of clashes with local law enforcement and politicians. They were facing dozens of South Carolina highway troopers and National Guard troops, with military vehicles and a heavy law enforcement presence.

The protests started because of racial segregation at a local bowling alley.

Harry Floyd, owner of the segregated bowling alley in Orangeburg, S.C., over which civil rights demonstrations ended in the death of three students, points to the “privately owned” sign on the front door, Feb. 10, 1968.

AP Photo

South Carolina State University students Marvis President, right, and Kyle Williams, left, take part in a re-enactment Thursday, Feb. 7, 2008, of the picketing of a local bowling alley that led to the death of three college students and wounding of 28 others as part of a 40th commemoration ceremony of the Orangeburg Massacre in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain

The troopers, saying they heard sniper fire, started shooting at the students. Amid the running and screaming in the ensuing chaos, S.C. State students Samuel Hammond and Henry Smith died along with Delano Middleton, and 27 others were injured.

The Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center, South Carolina State’s on-campus arena, was renamed in honor of the three victims. It was opened the same year as the massacre.

It was one of the first deadly confrontations between college students and law enforcement in the United States, and it happened two years before the Kent State University shootings and two months before the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Orangeburg, located between Columbia and Charleston, is the home of S.C. State University and Claflin College, both historically black colleges and universities. Students from both schools were involved in the protests.

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2:30 PMFifty years ago Thursday, three students died on the campus of South Carolina State University in the Orangeburg Massacre. Yet, years later, few people know about it.

On Thursday, the university and others honored their legacy and its role in the protest that led up to the massacre in a commemoration, Remembering History, Inspiring Hope and Embracing Healing. With students, faculty, community leaders, law enforcement and residents, they hope to remember “one of the saddest days in the history of South Carolina” with a renewed commitment to optimism, inspiration and understanding.

On the night of Feb. 8, 1968, hundreds of students had gathered on campus for a third night of protests after a long series of clashes with local law enforcement and politicians. They were facing dozens of South Carolina highway troopers and National Guard troops, with military vehicles and a heavy law enforcement presence.

The protests started because of racial segregation at a local bowling alley.

Harry Floyd, owner of the segregated bowling alley in Orangeburg, S.C., over which civil rights demonstrations ended in the death of three students, points to the “privately owned” sign on the front door, Feb. 10, 1968.

AP Photo

South Carolina State University students Marvis President, right, and Kyle Williams, left, take part in a re-enactment Thursday, Feb. 7, 2008, of the picketing of a local bowling alley that led to the death of three college students and wounding of 28 others as part of a 40th commemoration ceremony of the Orangeburg Massacre in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain

The troopers, saying they heard sniper fire, started shooting at the students. Amid the running and screaming in the ensuing chaos, S.C. State students Samuel Hammond and Henry Smith died along with Delano Middleton, and 27 others were injured.

The Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center, South Carolina State’s on-campus arena, was renamed in honor of the three victims. It was opened the same year as the massacre.

It was one of the first deadly confrontations between college students and law enforcement in the United States, and it happened two years before the Kent State University shootings and two months before the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Orangeburg, located between Columbia and Charleston, is the home of S.C. State University and Claflin College, both historically black colleges and universities. Students from both schools were involved in the protests.

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2:30 PMFifty years ago Thursday, three students died on the campus of South Carolina State University in the Orangeburg Massacre. Yet, years later, few people know about it.

On Thursday, the university and others honored their legacy and its role in the protest that led up to the massacre in a commemoration, Remembering History, Inspiring Hope and Embracing Healing. With students, faculty, community leaders, law enforcement and residents, they hope to remember “one of the saddest days in the history of South Carolina” with a renewed commitment to optimism, inspiration and understanding.

On the night of Feb. 8, 1968, hundreds of students had gathered on campus for a third night of protests after a long series of clashes with local law enforcement and politicians. They were facing dozens of South Carolina highway troopers and National Guard troops, with military vehicles and a heavy law enforcement presence.

The protests started because of racial segregation at a local bowling alley.

Harry Floyd, owner of the segregated bowling alley in Orangeburg, S.C., over which civil rights demonstrations ended in the death of three students, points to the “privately owned” sign on the front door, Feb. 10, 1968.

AP Photo

South Carolina State University students Marvis President, right, and Kyle Williams, left, take part in a re-enactment Thursday, Feb. 7, 2008, of the picketing of a local bowling alley that led to the death of three college students and wounding of 28 others as part of a 40th commemoration ceremony of the Orangeburg Massacre in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain

The troopers, saying they heard sniper fire, started shooting at the students. Amid the running and screaming in the ensuing chaos, S.C. State students Samuel Hammond and Henry Smith died along with Delano Middleton, and 27 others were injured.

The Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center, South Carolina State’s on-campus arena, was renamed in honor of the three victims. It was opened the same year as the massacre.

It was one of the first deadly confrontations between college students and law enforcement in the United States, and it happened two years before the Kent State University shootings and two months before the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Orangeburg, located between Columbia and Charleston, is the home of S.C. State University and Claflin College, both historically black colleges and universities. Students from both schools were involved in the protests.