The Orangeburg Massacre was an incident on February 8, 1968 in which local policemen in Orangeburg, South Carolina fired into a crowd of people who were protesting segregation, killing three and injuring 27. The incident pre-dated the Kent State shootings and Jackson State killings.
In the days leading up to February 8, 1968, around 200 protesters had gathered on the campus of South Carolina State University (located in the city of Orangeburg) to protest the segregation of All Star Bowling Lane (now called All-Star Triangle Bowl), on US 301, now SC 33). The bowling alley was owned by the late Harry K. Floyd. Students continued their days of protesting by starting a bonfire. As police attempted to put out the fire, an officer was injured by a thrown piece of banister, according to an article in Nieman Reports at Harvard University.The police believed they were receiving small weapons fire during the incident. Protesters insist that they did not fire at police officers, but did hurl various objects (and insults) at the police. Evidence that police were being fired on was inconclusive, and there is no evidence that protesters were armed or had fired on officers.The officers responded by firing into the crowd, killing three young men, Samuel Hammond, Delano Middleton, and Henry Smith, and wounding 27 others. Henry Smith and Samuel Hammond were SCSU students; Delano Middleton, a local high school student, was seventeen.
Recently, the Orangeburg Massacre has been in the news again. On February 18, 2003 a bill was introduced in the South Carolina General Assembly. It calls for the creation of a commission to recommend compensation to the victims and families of the victims of the Orangeburg Massacre.