New historical marker highlight Columbia's role in Civil Rights Movement

Columbia's downtown is the new home of two historical markers honoring the bravery and sacrifice of area students during the Civil Rights Movement.

Two new historical markers, each honoring the sites of sit-ins in the 1960s, were unveiled last week. The sites, on Taylor and Main streets, saw the arrests of multiple students standing up against Jim Crow laws.

Charles Barr and the Rev. Simon Bouie, the two men at the center of the cases, were in attendance at the celebration. They and their peers were students at Allen University and Benedict College at the time of their arrests.

Both cases made their way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The initial arrests were overturned in 1964 along with various other sit-in related arrests from around the South.

Columbia's Mayor Steve Benjamin praised the new signage, saying on Twitter that the move displays the city's "rich history."

The project is a joint venture between Columbia SC 63, an initiative to better share the civil rights history of the city, and USC's Center for Civil Rights History and Research. 

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