In 1959, police were called to a segregated Lake City Public…

In 1959, police were called to a segregated Lake City Public Library in South Carolina when a 9-year-old Black boy refused to leave. He later got a PhD in Physics from MIT, and died in 1986, one of the astronauts aboard the space shuttle Challenger. The library that refused to lend him books is now named after him.

On January 29, 2011, the Lake City, South Carolina, library was dedicated as the Ronald McNair Life History Center. When Ronald McNair was nine, the police and his mother were called because he wished to check out books from this library, which served only white patrons before he arrived. He said, “I’ll wait,” to the lady and sat on the counter until the police and his mother arrived, and the officer said, “Why don’t you just give him the books?” which the lady behind the counter reluctantly did. He said, “Thank you, Ma’am,” as he got the books.