The Orangeburg Massacre refers to the shooting of protesters by South Carolina Highway Patrol Officers in Orangeburg, South Carolina near South Carolina State University on the evening of February 8, 1968. The approximately 150 protestors were demonstrating against racial segregation at a local bowling alley. Three of the protestors, African American males, were killed and twenty-eight other protestors were injured.
The event pre-dated the 1970 Kent State shootings and Jackson State killings, in which the National Guard at Kent State, and police and state highway patrol at Jackson State killed student protesters demonstrating against the United States invasion of Cambodia during the Vietnam War.
On the night of February 8, 1968, students started a bonfire on the front of SC State’s campus. As police and firefighters attempted to put out the fire, officer David Shealy was injured by an object that was thrown. Shortly thereafter (around 10:30 p.m.) South Carolina Highway Patrol Officers began firing into the crowd of around 150 protesters. Eight Patrol Officers fired carbines, shotguns, and revolvers at the protesters, which lasted around 10 to 15 seconds. Twenty-eight people were injured in the shooting; most of which were shot in the back as they were running away, and three African American men were killed. The three men killed were Samuel Hammond, Henry Smith (both SCSU students), and Delano Middleton, a student at the local Wilkinson High School.