Created: Wed, 11 Sep 2013 06:47:00 EST
Updated: Wed, 11 Sep 2013 07:05:39 EST
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP/WOLO) -- Two of the three students who integrated South Carolina's flagship university 50 years ago are retracing their steps. Robert Anderson, James Solomon and Henrie Monteith became the university's first African-American students since reconstruction on Sept. 11, 1963. Anderson died in 2009, but the others are taking part in several commemorative events to mark the anniversary on Wednesday.
Flanked by dozens of supporters and admirers, Monteith Treadwell and Solomon walked up the same steps and through the same doors of the Osbourne Administration building and were greeted by university president Dr. Harris Pastides. After each addressed the crowd, Monteith Treadwell wiping away tears, the two surviving students 'turned dirt' to unveil what will become the school's Desegregation Commemoration Garden. Pet, USC Professor and daughter of legendary State Supreme Court Justice, Eranest Finney, Nikki Finney's words will be carved within the monument.
A series of events to mark the 50th anniversary is planned throughout the year.