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“L” is for Littlejohn, Nina (1879-1963)

“L” is for Littlejohn, Nina (1879-1963). Hospital administrator. Born in Cherokee County, Littlejohn and her husband moved to Spartanburg. Aware that African Americans did not have access to suitable medical care, she created the John-Nina Hospital in 1913. This two-story hospital, with wards for twenty patients, was the first medical facility established specifically for Black patients in Spartanburg. A member of the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce, Littlejohn had political influence regarding civic programs beneficial for the hospital’s improvement. In 1932 Littlejohn’s hospital was absorbed by the Spartanburg General Hospital, which opened an annex for Blacks. Although some denounced Littlejohn’s support of this segregated wing, she was not deterred and persisted in her work to improve community conditions. Nina Littlejohn wanted to set an example of independence, capability, and fortitude for Spartanburg residents—especially African Americans.

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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.