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"O” is for Orangeburg

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"O” is for Orangeburg (Orangeburg County; 2020 population 12,402). Orangeburg is the county seat of one of South Carolina’s richest agricultural regions. The town originated with the arrival of European settlers in 1735. In 1768 the Commons House of Assembly designated Orangeburg as the seat of the Orangeburg judicial district. The town was incorporated in 1835. The establishment of Clafflin College and South Carolina State Agricultural and Mechanical College made Orangeburg a haven for Black intellectuals and political activists, and the center of African American education in South Carolina. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s civil rights demonstrations, marches, and sit-ins by students at Claflin and South Carolina State led to mass arrests, culminating in the Orangeburg Massacre in February 1968. The Edisto Memorial Gardens Festival of Roses draws thousands of visitors to Orangeburg every spring.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.