Walter Edgar

Host

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his A.B. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens. In 1972 he joined the faculty of the History Department and in 1980 was named director of the Institute for Southern Studies. Dr. Edgar is the Claude Henry Neuffer Professor of Southern Studies and the George Washington Distinguished Professor of History. He retired from USC in 2012. He has written or edited numerous books about South Carolina and the American South, including South Carolina: A History, the first new history of the state in more than 60 years. With more than 37,000 copies in print and an audio edition, it has been a publishing phenomenon. Partisans & Redcoats: The Southern Conflict that Turned the Tide of the American Revolution is in its fourth printing. He is also the editor of the South Carolina Encyclopedia.

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South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"G" is for Gressette, Lawrence Marion (1902-1984). Legislator. Gressette represented Calhoun County in the House of Representatives from 1925-1932. He served twenty-three terms in the Senate from 1937 to 1984—representing Calhoun County until 1966. Then, after reapportionment, Senate Districts Nineteen, Eleven and Thirteen. Gressette was a long-time member of a number of influential committees, including Judiciary (1937-1984; chairman, 1953-1984) and Education (1939-1984; chairmen 1951-1956). He served as president pro tempore of the Senate from 1972 to 1984.

"C" is for Clover

May 23, 2018
South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"C" is for Clover (York County; 2010 population 5,137). Clover’s history goes back to the 1870s when the Chester and Lenoir Railroad placed a five thousand gallon water tank at the site of the future town. According to local legend, water spilling from the tank yielded a patch of clover on the ground—giving the town its earliest name—Clover Patch. The town was chartered in 1887, with a population of about one hundred—most of the migrants from western York County.

"C" is for Clinton

May 22, 2018
South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"C" is for Clinton (Laurens County, 2010 population, 8,335). Clinton grew up around the intersection of two roads, one connecting Greenville with Columbia and the other Spartanburg with Augusta. In the 1850s, the Newberry-to-Laurens railroad ran through the intersection, resulting in the development of a town. The little community was named for Henry Clinton Young, an attorney from nearby Laurens. The town was incorporated in 1864. In 1874 Thornwell Orphanage was built to help children who lost parents during the Civil War.

Image of Gen. Andrew Pickens, 1739 - 1817. A photo of an oil painting hung in Fort Hill in Clemson, South Carolina.
blahedo [CC BY-SA 2.5] via Wikimedia Commons

(Originally broadcast 10/03/17) - In his book, The Life and Times of General Andrew Pickens: Revolutionary War Hero, American Founder (2017, UNC Press), Dr. Rod Andrew, Jr., of Clemson University, explores the life of the hard-fighting South Carolina militia commander of the American Revolution, was the hero of many victories against British and Loyalist forces. In this book, Andrew offers an authoritative and comprehensive biography of Pickens the man, the general, the planter, and the diplomat.

"C" is for Climate

May 21, 2018
South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"C" is for Climate. South Carolina’s climate is classified as humid subtropical, which is typical of middle-latitude locations situated on eastern margins of large continents. Rainfall is abundant and distributed fairly evenly throughout the year. There is seasonal variation in the temperatures ranging from hot and humid summers to mild winters with some below-freezing temperatures. Summers tend to be hot across the state. The single most important factor influencing the state’s summer weather is the Bermuda high.

South Carolina From A to Z
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"B" is for Briggs v. Elliott (1954). Briggs v. Elliott was one of five cases, collectively entitled Brown et al. v. Board of Education of Topeka, Shawnee, KS, et al., argued before the U.S. Supreme Court by attorneys for the NAACP. Originally a lawsuit filed by twenty African American parents in Clarendon County for educational opportunities for their children, Briggs v. Elliott was the first case in the twentieth century to challenge the constitutionality of racially segregated schools. Thurgood Marshall of the NAACP represented the parents.

South Carolina From A to Z
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"B" is for Brooks, Preston Smith (1819-1857). Congressman. Brooks attended Moses Waddel’s academy and the South Carolina College. In 1844 Edgefield District elected him to the General Assembly. During the Mexican War he served as a captain in the Palmetto Regiment. In 1852 Brooks, as a States’ Rights Democrat, was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1856, during a debate, U.S. Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts denigrated South Carolina’s role in American history and insulted Senator Andrew P. Butler of South Carolina.

South Carolina From A to Z
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"B" is for Brookgreen Gardens. The Archer M. and Anna Hyatt Huntington Sculpture Gardens at Brookgreen rests on thirty acres of display gardens in the middle of some 9,100 acres of the South Carolina lowcountry. The site is best known for its beautiful display gardens and its unrivaled American figurative sculpture collection, as well as its commitment to conservation and preservation. Ten garden “rooms” are highlighted by ponds, fountains, and sculpture set off by native plants and seasonal flowers—displayed against a tapestry of magnificent live-oaks and towering pines.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"B" is for Brodie, Laura (1908-2004). Herpetologist. Born on a farm in Lexington County, Brodie began collecting snakes and frogs as a young child. By her teens she had converted an outbuilding into her “Rockwood Museum” where she kept cages of reptiles and amphibians. After graduating from Winthrop, she obtained a position at the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology.

Fud Livingston
Discogs

Charleston’s Fud Livingston, 'Jazz Age' arranger, composer, and musician, made memorable music.

Joseph Anthony “Fud” Livingston, born in Charleston, SC, in 1906, was an American jazz clarinetist, saxophonist, arranger, and composer who played with some of the most renowned musicians of the Jazz Age, including Bix Beiderbecke, Red Nichols, Joe Venuti, Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman and the Dorsey brothers, Tommy and Jimmy. He arranged for Broadway and wrote songs, the most famous of which is “I’m Through with Love.”

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"H" is for Hootie and the Blowfish. Founded in 1986, Hootie and the Blowfish emerged as the most popular rock band on the USC college scene in the 1980s and early 1990s. Consisting of lead singer and rhythm guitarist Darius Rucker, lead guitarist Mark Bryan, drummer Jim Sonfeld, and bassist Dean Felber, the band suddenly grew into a national phenomenon with the release of their major label debut album, Cracked Rear View in 1994. The album became one of the best selling recordings in popular music history, selling more than fifteen million copies.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"L" is for Lynch, Kenneth Merrill, Sr. (1887-1974). Physician, educator. A native of Texas, Lynch moved to South Carolina in 1913 and became the first professor of pathology at the Medical College of South Carolina and the state’s first full-time pathologist. He is credited with discovering the first treatment for Granuloma inguinale, a venereal disease. In 1943 he became dean of the Medical College, a title the board of trustees changed to president in 1949.

"L" is for Lyman

May 10, 2018
South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"L" is for Lyman (Spartanburg County; 2010 population 3,261). Lyman’s early history stemmed from the economic activity of the Groce family. The area was known as Groce or Groce’s Stop until the arrival of Pacific Mills. In 1923 Pacific Mills made the largest investment in Spartanburg County up till then. The company not only erected a mill but also built a model town: 375 houses, a community center, and a twelve-room school. Churches and a National Guard Armory came later. The town was renamed Lyman in honor of Arthur T. Lyman, president of Pacific Mills (1900-1915).

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"L" is for Lynch, Thomas, Sr. (ca. 1727-1776). Legislator, delegate to the Continental Congress. A prominent planter, Lynch was active in public affairs. He was a member of the Commons House of Assembly from 1752 until 1775. From an early date he opposed British encroachment on colonial autonomy. He was a delegate to the Stamp Act Congress (1765) and a member of the Non-Importation Association (1769). As one of South Carolina’s best-known and most ardent patriots, Lynch became a great favorite of the Sons of Liberty.

South Carolina From A to Z
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"H" is for Horry County (1,134 square miles, 2010 population, 270, 516). Horry is the largest and easternmost of South Carolina’s forty-six counties, forming a wedge between North Carolina and the Atlantic Ocean. Its geographical isolation led in the 1840s to its being referred to as the “Independent Republic of Horry.” Unsuited for either rice or cotton production, by 1860 it was the poorest county in the state. The introduction of bright leaf tobacco in the 1890s brought prosperity and linked the county’s economy to the tobacco market.

South Carolina From A to Z
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"H" is for Horry, Peter (ca. 1743-1815). Planter, soldier, legislator. In 1775 Peter Horry was commissioned a captain in the Second South Carolina Regiment. By 1780 he commanded the Fifth South Carolina, but when it was merged with another unit, he was discharged prior to the British occupation. In the summer of 1780 he returned to service—as one of Francis Marion’s most trusted and valuable officers. After the Revolution, Horry remained in the military service of the state.

Becky Stone as Harriet Tubman.
Courtesy of Greenville Chautauqua

The topic of this year’s History Alive festival presented by Greenville Chautauqua is “Courage.” Historical interpreters will appear in character under the Chautauqua tent bringing to life the stores of Alice Paul, Francis Marion, Harriet Tubman, Clara Barton, and Winston Churchill.

Greenville Chautauqua’s Caroline McIntyre joins Dr. Edgar along with historical interpreters Becky Stone (Harriet Tubman) and Leslie Goddard (Clara Barton and Alice Paul) to talk about his summer’s History Alive festival.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"G" is for Gregorie, Anne King (1887-1960). Historian, teacher, author, editor. After graduating from Winthrop in 1906, Gregorie taught for a while and then spent several years working with her father. In 1925 she embarked on the process of becoming a professional historian. Within a year she earned a master’s degree from the University of South Carolina. In 1929 Gregorie became the first woman to deceive a doctorate from USC’s Department of History. While teaching at colleges in Alabama and Arkansas, she prepared her biography of Thomas Sumter for publication.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"G" is for Gregg, William (1800-1867). Manufacturer. Industrial promoter. Gregg made his fortune as an importer of fancy goods and jewelry in Charleston. In 1844, he toured the leading manufacturing centers of the Northeast. Returning to Charleston he wrote a series of articles that evolved into a pamphlet, Essays on Domestic Industry. In these widely circulated publications, Gregg called on the South to invest in manufacturing and end its reliance on staple agriculture—and made him widely known among the South’s leading industrial advocates.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"C" is for Cleveland School Fire (May 17, 1923). Cleveland Public School was situated in Kershaw County, six mile south of Camden. The school was housed in a two-story frame building; an auditorium (40 feet by 20 feet) was on the second floor. On May 17, 1923 the room was packed with 300 people attending graduation ceremonies and a class play. During the performance, a large oil lamp fell to the stage and ignited an intense fire. Terrified spectators rushed toward the only exit. Some persons were trampled to death and the wooden stairway collapsed.

South Carolina From A to Z
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"C" is for Cleveland, Georgia Allen (1851-1914). Writer, activist. Georgia Allen Cleveland and her husband were noted for their generosity and charity in the Spartanburg community. Both played leading roles in the founding of Converse College. She kept a diary from 1890 to 1914 in which she chronicled life as an upper class married southern white female. Because of the richness of her entries, she left a legacy of South Carolina upcountry history that documented local, state, and regional history. Her diary is a valuable record of Victorian female domesticity from the grand to the mundane.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"C" is for Clemson University Extension Service. The Smith-Lever Act of 1914 created the Cooperative Extension Service. The act ended the rivalry between state agricultural commissioners and land grant colleges over the administration of extension work. In its place, Smith-Lever created a partnership of federal, state, and local governments that worked to improve the quality of rural life by disseminating the latest information to farmers, homemakers, and communities.

In an open letter to the South Carolina General Assembly, the Fellowship of South Carolina Bishops wrote, "Unfortunately, our state is marked by disparities in the delivery of education... Even in the most successful of school districts, too many students underachieve, or worse, fall through the cracks and do not achieve success."

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"W" is for Wright, Jonathan Jasper (1840-1885). Attorney, legislator, jurist. Born in Pennsylvania, Wright read law with antislavery advocate Dr. William W. Pride. In 1864 Wright took a position with the American Missionary Association teaching black soldiers stationed on the Sea Islands. He was admitted to the Pennsylvania bar in 1866, but returned to South Carolina the next year with the Freedman’s

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"W" is for Wright, Elizabeth Evelyn (1872-1906). A native Georgian, Wright enrolled as a night student at Tuskegee; she paid her tuition by working at the school during the day. Despite opposition from state and local education officials she tried to establish small industrial education schools in the lowcountry. In 1897, Wright relocated to Denmark and opened a school over a grocery store. She began raising money for what would become the Denmark Industrial Institute—modeled on her alma mater. Her most generous benefactor was Ralph Vorhees of New Jersey.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"W" is for Wright, Alice Buck Norwood Spearman (1902-1989). Human relations activist. A graduate of Converse College, Wright taught school in South Carolina before moving to New York City. She earned a master’s degree in religious education from Columbia Teacher’s College. In 1930 she began a three-year journey around the world, attending conferences, teaching, and studying Asian culture Returning home, Wright became the first woman appointed to administer a county relief program.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"W" is for Wragg, William (ca. 1714-1777). Loyalist. A native South Carolinian, Wragg was educated in England at Westminster, St. John’s College, Oxford, and the middle Temple. He was appointed to the Royal Council in 1753 and supported its positions in controversies with the Commons House. When Governor Lyttleton tried to appease the Commons House, Wragg vociferously defended the position of the Crown and the Council. Removed from the Council, he was elected to the Commons House.

S.C. State University logo
S.C. State

Since its founding in 1896, South Carolina State University has provided vocational, undergraduate, and graduate education for generations of African Americans. Now the state’s flagship historically black university, it achieved this recognition after decades of struggling against poverty, inadequate infrastructure and funding, and social and cultural isolation. In South Carolina State University: A Black Land-Grant College in Jim Crow America, William C.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"M" is for Miller, Kelly, Jr. (1863-1939). Educator, writer. A Winnsboro native, Miller was the son of a free person of color and an enslaved woman. A northern missionary helped him get a scholarship to the preparatory department of Howard University. He later became the first African American to attend Johns Hopkins University. In 1890 Miller joined the faculty at Howard where he remained throughout his career. As a sociologist and Dean of Howard’s College of Arts and Sciences, he became one of the nation’s most prominent authorities in the debate on race in America.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"M" is for Mill Villages. The establishment of the Pelzer Manufacturing Company’s mill on the Saluda River in Anderson County in the early 1880s marked the beginning of the Piedmont mill village boom. Early textile entrepreneurs built not only factories, but also frequently entire villages such as Piedmont in Greenville County, Clifton and Pacolet in Spartanburg County, and Langley in Aiken County. The villages were self-contained communities with neighborhood stores, parks, schools, churches, and mill league baseball and basketball. Mill villages began to decline in the 1920s.

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