The next article is a quick take a look at the historical past of Orangeburg Excessive Faculty from 1907 to 1971. On the finish of the existence of the varsity, a model new period of training within the lifetime of Orangeburg’s Black and white college students started with the combining of Orangeburg Excessive and Wilkinson Excessive Faculty. Subsequent, we take a look at Wilkinson after which at O-W in its first yr.

On the formation of Orangeburg County in 1704, Blacks and whites performed very important and totally different roles in growth. For greater than 200 years, whites dominated the entire main capabilities within the lifetime of the individuals who lived right here.

All the elements of life in Orangeburg had been managed and led by our whites. From the years of slavery to the yr 1865 when freedom was granted to the entire individuals residing in America, Blacks have been the vast majority of the inhabitants of our county.

Then in 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court docket laid out their landmark determination that “the USA state legal guidelines establishing racial segregation in public faculties are unconstitutional, even when the segregated faculties are in any other case equal in high quality.”

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This mandate was delayed by many Southern states. In Orangeburg, the faculties didn’t start their integration till the 1964 faculty yr. Whites did every part that they might to carry off the court docket’s ruling.

That yr marked the start of each Black and white kids attending faculty collectively in Orangeburg. The movement for an built-in faculty system was put in place for the way forward for the training of all of youngsters residing within the county.

Then in 1972, the efforts to create a system of public training for the entire kids residing in Orangeburg County had been set in place. This era additionally marked the event of personal faculties for whites who opposed the mixing of public faculties.

The historical past of Orangeburg Excessive Faculty goes again to the yr 1907.

Gov. Martin F. Ansel gave his message to the Normal Meeting. Ansel stated, “I additionally ask your particular consideration to and consideration of the institution of excessive faculties in reference to and as part of the free faculty system of our state.”

In March 1907, Orangeburg Sen. T.M. Raysor, who for years was a member of the state board of training and in his legislative profession championed obligatory training for our youngsters, was instrumental in appropriating $15,000 for a system of excessive faculties. Earlier than that point, the varsity system in Orangeburg was often known as the Orangeburg Graded Faculty.

On June 6, 1907, The T&D marked the primary graduating class of the brand new faculty, Orangeburg Excessive Faculty: “The graduating workouts correct of the Orangeburg highschool had been held within the Academy of Music Friday evening within the presence of an viewers that was restricted by the seating capability of the auditorium. The primary graduating class was a complete of 21 members.”

The 1913 faculty yr was stated to have been most affluent and profitable. That yr, 31 girls and boys accomplished their years at Orangeburg Excessive. At the moment, it was stated that “if the varsity is to develop and do the work that’s achieved in another faculties within the state, a excessive constructing is an crucial want.”

As time progressed, the push for a much-needed standalone highschool grew deeper.

On March 6, 1915, The T&D printed, “The Excessive Faculty Wanted — We print on one other web page an announcement by the Metropolis Council and the trustees of the town public faculties to the impact that; they’ve determined to undergo the residents a bond difficulty of $30,000 for the erection of a highschool constructing for the higher instructional services of the town.

“With the highschool in a separated constructing, it’s to be hoped that the course of instruction will probably be lengthened to 4 years and that it is going to be raised excessive sufficient to hold a pupil past the freshman yr at any faculty within the State.”

In Might 1915, 103 votes had been forged for issuing a bond of $30,000 for a brand new highschool constructing. The brand new faculty was constructed on Sellers Avenue.

At the moment, most of the white mother and father had been starting to see the benefit of this method of training for his or her kids. As to the Black mother and father, they had been considerably behind within the instructional strategy of their kids. In 1915, the one faculty for Black kids was the Sterling Faculty, which was positioned within the Sunnyside part of Orangeburg.

In 1920, the state highschool inspector, J.A. Stoddard, made a go to to Orangeburg Excessive and stated, “It was an actual pleasure to spend the day with you in your faculty and to review the sumptuous group of your work.”

Orangeburg Excessive’s first Glee Membership was organized within the 1927-28 faculty yr. They entered the Coker Faculty contest within the spring of 1928 and gained first place. The achievement by the scholars was justly proud because it was their first contest.

By the yr of 1931, the graduates the Orangeburg Excessive included a complete of 101 college students on its ultimate workouts. Additionally through the 1931 soccer season, Orangeburg Excessive gained its first state soccer championship. They defeated the crew from Rock Hill.

Then in March 1934, the Orangeburg Excessive women basketball crew gained their first Class A championship.

On March 8, 1934, The T&D printed, “Orangeburg Has Fantastic Gymnasium — The brand new Orangeburg highschool gymnasium, constructed this yr, is likely one of the most imposing constructions of its variety within the state.”

In March 1936, the Orangeburg Excessive Faculty women basketball maintained a fame as a championship crew in Class A by defeating the crew from Laurens. The lady crew ran a dynasty of consecutive championships from 1934 by way of 1939.

In the course of the Nineteen Thirties, Orangeburg Excessive additionally loved an impressive boxing crew.

After being positioned on Sellers Avenue since 1905, a brand new faculty constructing was constructed and opened on Bennett Avenue in 1954. Additionally in March 1954, Orangeburg Excessive gained the state Class A boys basketball championship, defeating Greer Excessive Faculty 47-40.

On Might 3, 1958, The T&D printed, “Accomplice Flag Given By Orangeburg Excessive Seniors — Friday morning the Senior Class of Orangeburg Excessive Faculty introduced a Accomplice flag to the varsity. A ceremony was held on the flag pole in entrance of the varsity with Billy Whetsell, class president making the presentation to Principal W. Eugene Smith.”

In July of 1959, head soccer coach Invoice Clark introduced his resignation from the Orangeburg Excessive Indians. For 11 years, he directed the soccer program in such a fashion of making nice soccer groups even when he had few or no gifted gamers. Every year, he was confronted with rebuilding, and by a way, he was in a position to rebuild to equal or stronger groups.

In June 1960, Orangeburg Excessive Faculty graduated 164 college students from the varsity. The senior class was introduced diplomas through the faculty’s first outside commencement ceremonies.

The T&D reported on Nov. 25, 1960, “Indians Roll Over Easley To Win State Championship Bracy Sparks Tribe’s Assault-by Carl A. Vines — Sparked by the operating of halfback Invoice Bracy, and an incredible defensive effort by your entire crew, the Orangeburg Indians gained a decisive 18-0 victory over the Easley Inexperienced Wave, and the state Class AA soccer championship, Thursday afternoon.”

The crew climaxed the yr with an ideal 12-0 season underneath the management of Coach Geb Runager. The Indians had been led by sort out Bobby Crowell and quarterback Jim Tom Oliver.

In Orangeburg, the Blacks had been always making efforts to comply with the regulation of the land by integrating the all-white faculties.

O-W title crew helped unite Orangeburg in ’71

The 1963 Orangeburg Excessive Faculty Maidens women basketball crew grew to become the most effective ever to return from Orangeburg. In that yr, the Maidens gained 20 video games in a row after they clobbered Fairforest for the state AA championship. They had been coached by Melicue Metts. When the varsity district merged, Metts grew to become the director of personnel.

Then on Aug. 27, 1964, The T&D wrote, “Orangeburg Colleges — Segregation Nears Finish — “Some 8,000 Orangeburg faculty kids will return to their research Thursday morning and for a lot of, it is going to be the final day of segregation.

“For 293 others, segregation will proceed, however they won’t return to lessons till Monday after they grow to be college students in Wade Hampton Academy, a non-public faculty organized to offer segregated services which is able to open its doorways for the primary time.

“However even these within the Faculty District 5 system, the Metropolis of Orangeburg, will probably be little affected by integration, for the 18 Negroes who plan to attend previously white faculties will probably be hardly seen by the bulk.

“The Negroes is not going to report back to their new faculties till Friday morning. Thursday will probably be dedicated to orientation for the white college students.”

After 10 years of delaying the mandate on faculty integration, within the 1964-65 faculty yr, the Orangeburg Faculty District determined it was time to comply with the regulation of the land. In lots of different cities and cities in South Carolina, they progressively made the identical determination.

The T&D reported Feb. 18, 1970 — “Fracas In Aftermath Of OHS-Wilkinson Tilt Brings Repercussions — By Joyce Milkie and Frank Okay. Myers — A disturbance after a basketball sport Tuesday evening between the Orangeburg Excessive Faculty Maidens and the Wilkinson Excessive Faculty Wolverettes, whereas not inflicting critical harm or injury, has triggered extreme repercussions in Orangeburg and even in Columbia.

“Most fast result’s a change within the time of a basketball sport scheduled initially for 8:30 p.m. Thursday between the Orangeburg Excessive Faculty Indians and the Wilkinson Wolverines within the opening rounds of the Area 4-A event. The sport will now be performed at 3 p.m. within the A.C. Flora Excessive Faculty gymnasium.

Jim Tom Oliver: ‘The Actual Deal’

“A second result’s the requesting of an entire report on the occurring from officers of each faculties to be submitted to W.J. Clark, superintendent of Faculty District 5.

“Some observers expressed the assumption that the incident, which started when a Wilkinson Wolverette attacked an Orangeburg Excessive participant on the court docket, was not racial however was resentment in opposition to former Wolverettes gamers now taking part in for Orangeburg Excessive Faculty and the truth that Wilkinson misplaced an in depth sport 38-34.

“Chief Deputy Sheriff B.N. Collins, questioned Wednesday, noticed the prevalence as of comparatively little significance. ‘I’m not going to blow this factor up within the newspaper,’ he stated. I didn’t see any nice disturbance. No arrests had been made. All I noticed was a couple of rock-throwing.’

“Orangeburg Excessive Faculty soccer coach Dick Sheridan, who was on the sport Tuesday evening, expressed appreciation for the Negro adults and college students who got here to the help of white gamers and spectators through the turmoil following the sport.

“First, Sheridan stated, he believes the Wilkinson Excessive college students should not so resentful of Orangeburg Excessive as they’re of former Wilkinson college students who are actually rooting for OHS and taking part in on OHS groups. Sheridan stated he didn’t see it as a black-white battle, however extra a college in opposition to a college factor.

“Superintendent of Colleges W. J. Clark stated he has requested for an entire investigation into the causes and causes for the incident.”

The subsequent day of Feb. 19, 1971, The T&D reported, “Wilkinson Spokesman Regretful — Good Picture Tarnished — An announcement of remorse for the disturbance that adopted the Orangeburg Excessive Faculty Maiden-Wilkinson Excessive Faculty Wolverettes basketball sport Tuesday evening was issued Thursday by a spokesman for Wilkinson Excessive Faculty. The assertion follows: The whole Wilkinson household and neighborhood remorse the incident that occurred following the Wilkinson-Orangeburg sport Tuesday, February 16, 1971.

“For the document, we want to state that through the a few years of athletic competitors, Wilkinson historically has proven excessive congeniality to all our visiting groups.

“As a fellow principal, I’m certain that we’re involved with the management at a few of our athletic occasions and I really feel that we must always publicize occasions like we had with Wilkinson.

“If we had had any indication that such would have occurred, the varsity officers wouldn’t have allowed it to be performed. $5 for the primary 20 weeks

“Due to the depth of the rivalry which exists between the 2 faculties, further safety was supplied.”

This incident was the primary yr of faculty integration at Wilkinson Excessive Faculty.

The 1970-71 faculty yr marked the top of the longstanding historical past of Orangeburg Excessive Faculty. That yr, the coed inhabitants for Orangeburg Excessive included 517 Black college students and a complete of 863 white college students.

Over the last yr of Orangeburg Excessive Faculty as we knew it, the scholars carried on their faculty life simply as they did annually. All the regular faculty life actions continued as they all the time did. Certainly they knew of the entire modifications within the faculty life that had been forward of them. The mixing of the whole faculty system can be the following change within the instructing and studying that each one public faculty kids must undergo in receiving an training.

The scholars who graduated from the senior class of Orangeburg Excessive Faculty marked the top of a terrific instructional facility that had given each Blacks and whites a possibility to advance themselves within the life that we stay in America, South Carolina and Orangeburg.

Over the lifetime of the varsity, they gained the next state championships in sports activities:

1927—Ladies basketball champions

1931—Softball co-champions

1931—Soccer champions

1934—A-girls basketball champions

1935—A-girls basketball champions

1936—A-girls basketball champions

1938—A-girls basketball champions

1954—A-boys basketball champions

1960—AA soccer champions

1963—AA-girls basketball champions

A number of the highlights within the final yearbook in 1971 embody:

Most Athletic—Kathy Limehouse and Bobby Bethea

Finest Persona—Nancy Davis and Marion Moore

Most Seemingly To Succeed—Will McCain and Willie Mae Hampton

Most Engaging—Helen McKnight and Invoice Covington

Most Courteous—Marilyn Epps and Mike Runager

Finest All-Round—Toni Scott and Harvey Atwill

Most Unique—Ruthie Morgan and Fred Tecklenburg

Most Pleasant—Mary Rodenborn and Ronnie Huber

Most Clever—Ricarda Berry and Lane Tuten

Most Reliable—Lynn Biser and Jeff Smith

Most Proficient–Kris Phillips and David Gatch

Miss Warrior—Toni Scott.

In the course of the second semester of 1971, proof was mounting for the whole integration of the Orangeburg faculty system. That yr marked the top of the Orangeburg Excessive Faculty Indians and the Wilkinson Excessive Faculty Wolverines. Each of the faculties graduated their final class of scholars through the spring graduation of 1971.

Thus, this was the top of a way of life that began to start with of Orangeburg County in 1704 for Blacks and the whites. Within the faculty yr of 1971-72, it marked the top of the separation of Blacks and the whites in receiving an training. $5 for the primary 20 weeks

Thus, within the fall of 1971, this marked the ending of the 2 excessive faculties within the metropolis of Orangeburg and the start of the newly shaped Orangeburg-Wilkinson Excessive Faculty.

Richard Reid is president of the Orangeburg Historic and Genealogical Society. His mission is researching Orangeburg historical past, with a specific emphasis on the function of African People in that historical past.

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