The 1950s signaled a decade of prosperity for Columbia, including drive-ins, drug-stores, hot cars, and rock and roll. Columbia residents recall their memories of the 1950s.
Throughout the 50s and 60s, Downtown Columbia, more specifically, Main Street, remained as the place to shop and eat.
The 1960s was also a turbulent time for Columbia, which saw significant changes, with the Civil Rights movement, and the hardships people endured to achieve desegregation. In order to avoid the violence witnessed in other Southern states, then Mayor Lester Bates devised a daring plan to move Columbia decisively in the direction of desegregation. The NAACP worked to desegregate public schools in South Carolina, starting with the University of South Carolina, and Columbia College.