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University's First Black Professor's Law School Diploma Was Almost Destroyed Before Being Returned

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RICHARD T GREENER
University of South Carolina archivist Elizabeth Cassidy West shows the diploma earned by Richard Theodore Greener on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, in Columbia, S.C. The school is honoring Greener, who was the university's first African-American faculty member. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins) | AP

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Two rare documents from a fleeting time after the Civil War when the University of South Carolina first admitted African-American students and faculty are going on display.

A law school diploma from the university and a South Carolina law license granted in 1876 to Richard Theodore Greener, the first African-American faculty member of the university, are being unveiled at noon EDT Tuesday at the South Caroliniana Library on the school's Columbia campus.

The exhibition explores contributions blacks made in the university's history before segregation. It coincides with the university's year-long remembrance of events leading up to 1963, when the school again admitted black students in the Civil Rights era.

Authorities say both documents were saved from a Chicago home awaiting demolition in 2009. It's not known how they got there.

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