This March marks the 60th anniversary of one of Florence’s most important civil rights events.
Florence County Museum is hosting an unveiling ceremony and reception for a historical marker commemorating sit-in demonstrations at the Kress department store lunch counter in March of 1960.
Forty-eight protesters were arrested during the demonstrations, all charged with parading without obtaining a city permit.
Their cases were adopted by an attorney for the NAACP and were eventually appealed before the South Carolina Supreme Court, who overturned the protestors’ convictions.
The marker will be unveiled in a ceremony from 3 to 4 o’clock on the afternoon of Thursday, March 5. The ceremony will take place in front of the Kress building on the north side of the 100 block of West Evans Street in downtown Florence.
Speakers representing the protesters, Florence County, and the City of Florence will address the crowd, discussing the social, historical, and personal significance of the protests.
Beginning at three o’clock, museum curator Stephen W. Motte will make a brief welcome, followed by an invocation by Rev. Calvin Robinson of Trinity Baptist Church.
Remarks will then be made by Florence County Solicitor Ed Clements, III, and Mayor Stephen Wukela, after which Rep. Terry Alexander (D – Florence) will present a certificate to a representative of the protestors.
The marker will be unveiled by Mr. John Miller of Florence, who helped organize the protests in 1960.
A reception will follow immediately after the ceremony at the FCM Waters Gallery, 135 S. Dargan St.
The City of Florence is coordinating with the museum for the ceremony and the installation of the marker.
“On behalf of the City of Florence, we are honored to participate in erecting this historical marker to acknowledge past injustices that occurred in our community. It is by acknowledging our history that we heal the effects and begin advancing forward as one city,” said City of Florence Mayor, Stephen J. Wukela
For more information, please contact the Florence County Museum at 843.676.1200.