Orangeburg Massacre: 50 years later

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - On Thursday, South Carolina State University will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the most significant civil rights event ever to happen in the Palmetto State.

It's taking place at 11 a.m. at the Smith-Hammond Middleton Memorial Center.

The theme is "remembering history, inspiring hope, and embracing healing." The ceremony will honor the lives of students killed and injured during the Orangeburg Massacre.

Back in February of 1968, students from then SC State College helped lead protests against the 'whites only' policy at All-Star Bowling Lanes. Ultimately, S.C. Highway Patrolmen opened fire on a crowd of unarmed protesters killing three students and injuring at least 28 others.

Those who were there, still feel the pain of that anger and violence.

"We were young African Americans trying to get an education," former SC State student Marie Artis said. "We were trying to do the right thing."

Journalist and historian Steve Crump has spent 5 months producing a documentary on the Orangeburg massacre.

Should the investigation be re-opened?  What does justice look like 50 years later? Tune into WIS Thursday night beginning at 6 p.m. for our special coverage on the 50th anniversary of the Orangeburg Massacre.

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