On Feb. 8, 1968, eight seconds of police gunfire left three young men dying and at least 28 wounded on the campus of South Carolina State College at Orangeburg. All of the police were white, all of the students African-American. Almost all of the victims were shot from behind as they fled the gunfire. The shootings were the culmination of four days of student protests over the desegregation of the city’s only bowling alley, located just minutes from the campus. It was the first time ever that police opened fire on students on a U.S. campus, yet it remains an almost unknown event in the history of the American civil rights movement.

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