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"L" is for Laing School

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"L" is for Laing School. Laing Middle School has been called by different names since its establishment in 1866 in an abandoned church. The school was named for Henry M. Laing, treasurer of two Philadelphia Quaker organizations that supported the school financially. Within two years more than two hundred attended the co-educational school in Mount Pleasant. Known as Laing Industrial School, the institution offered seven years of schooling along with courses in sewing, cooking, cobbling, and manual training. The school remained in private hands until 1940 when it was deeded to Charleston County. It was the first accredited school for African Americans in South Carolina. In 1953, the old building was demolished, and a new Laing High School opened on U.S. Highway 17 in Mount Pleasant. Since 1974, the institution has operated as Laing Middle School.

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar receivedhisA.B.degreefromDavidson 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.