Walter Edgar's Journal

All Stations: Fri, 12-1 pm | News & Talk Stations: Sun, 4-5 pm

Walter Edgar's Journal delves into the arts, culture, history of South Carolina and the American South. (A production of South Carolina Public Radio.)

Walter Edgar's Journal, Podcast Archive, May 2008 - August 2014

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DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed on Walter Edgar's Journal are not necessarily those of South Carolina Public Radio.

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"An accurate map of North and South Carolina with their Indian frontiers, shewing in a distinct manner all the mountains, rivers, swamps, marshes, bays, creeks, harbours, sandbanks and soundings on the coasts." Henry Mouzon, 1775
Norman B. Leventhal Map Center (NBL Map Center) at the Boston Public Library (BPL) [CC BY 2.0]

A two-decade, joint effort between South Carolina and North Carolina has sought to correct errors made surveying the boundary line between the two states. The errors began with the first survey, made in 1735, and were compounded over the years. Alan-Jon Zupan, a former project manager for the South Carolina Geological Survey, and David Ballard, currently with SCGS, join Walter Edgar to talk about the history of South Carolina’s northern line, and the modern-day efforts to get it right.

All Stations: Fri, Dec 15, 12 pm | News & Talk Stations: Sun, Dec 17, 4 pm

Newspaper Wars: Civil Rights and White Resistance in South Carolina, 1935-1965.
USC/Thomas Cooper Library

In spite of a growing movement for journalistic neutrality in reporting the news of the 20th century, journalists enlisted on both sides of the mid-century struggle for civil rights. Indeed, against all odds, the seeds of social change found purchase in South Carolina with newspaperman John McCray and his allies at the Lighthouse and Informer, who challenged readers to "rebel and fight"--to reject the "slavery of thought and action" and become "progressive fighters" for equality.

Chief Justice Ernest A. Finney, Jr.
SC Hall of Fame

Justice Ernest A. Finney, Jr., South Carolina's first Africa-American chief justice, has died Sunday, December 3, 2017. He was 86. Finney was one of just a handful of black lawyers in the state when he graduated from the South Carolina State College School of Law in 1954. Finney was elected chief justice of South Carolina in 1994 and retired from the court in 2000.

Trowel at an archaeological dig.
HeritageDaily [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

In Charleston: An Archaeology of Life in a Coastal Community (2016, University Press of Florida), Martha Zierden, Curator of Historical Archaeology at The Charleston Museum; and, Dr. Betsy Reitz, University of Georgia Athens, weave archaeology and history to illuminate this vibrant, densely packed Atlantic port city. They detail the residential, commercial, and public life of the city, the ruins of taverns, markets, and townhouses, including those of Thomas Heyward, shipping merchant Nathaniel Russell, and William Aiken.

Dr. J. Brent Morris
USC Beaufort

(Originally broadcast 07/14/17) Yes, Lord, I Know the Road: A Documentary History of African Americans in South Carolina, 1526 – 2008 (2017, USC Press) is the first comprehensive history of African Americans in the Palmetto State. From the first North American slave rebellion near the mouth of the Pee Dee River in the early sixteenth century to the 2008 state Democratic primary victory of Barack Obama, Dr. J.

Soldier's comrades watching him as he sleeps, Thievpal, France, during World War I.
National Library of Scotland

Furman University's Dr. Courtney Tollison co-curated “Over Here, Over There: Greenville in the Great War,” an exhibition on display in the spring of 2017 at Furman University’s James B. Duke Library. The exhibit examined World War I’s (1914-1918) impact on the Greenville community as well as the contributions of the area to the war effort, domestically and overseas; and it assessed the mixed legacy of progress emanating from the war years.

D.W. Griffith, director (1923)
Library of Congress

How did the American South contribute to the development of cinema? And how did film shape the modern South? In Fade In, Crossroads: A History of the Southern Cinema (2017, Oxford University Press), Robert Jackson tells the story of the relationships between southerners and motion pictures from the silent era through the golden age of Hollywood. Jackson talks with Walter Edgar about the profound consequences of the coincidence of the rise and fall of the American film industry with the rise and fall of the Jim Crow era.

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

In his new 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.

(Originally broadcast 05/19/17) South Carolina native "Princess" Pamela Strobel ruled a small realm, but her powers ranged far and wide. Her speakeasy-style restaurant in Manhattan was for three decades a hip salon, with regulars from Andy Warhol to Diana Ross. Her iconic Southern dishes influenced chefs nationwide, and her cookbook became a bible for a generation who yearned for the home cooking left behind in the Great Migration. One of the earliest books to coin soul food, this touchstone of African-American cuisine fell out of print more than forty years ago.

South Carolina's Constitution of 1861 underwent a lamination preservation process. Archivists no longer use the process after it was realized the laminate material degrades into an acid, doing more damage to the documents.
Cooper McKim/SC Public Radio

Millions of historic documents in the U.S., from presidential papers to personal slave journals, are facing an issue apart from age: a preservation method that has backfired. The process of laminating documents between sheets of cellulose acetate film, widely practiced from the 1950s through the 1970s, has now been determined to actually contribute to the deterioration of acid-containing paper.

A ride at the South Carolina State Fair, 2016.
Susanna Berggren

With October come two certainties: Trick-or-Treaters will be abroad on the 31st, and the South Carolina State Fair will attract thousands to Columbia.  In this edition of Walter Edgar's Journal, from May 5, 2016, Dr.

John Slaughter, Superintendent of US Park Service's Southern Campaign of the American Revolution Parks group.
SCETV/Original SC

The Southern Campaign was critical in determining the outcome of the American Revolutionary War, yet the South’s importance has been downplayed in most historical accounts to date.

Sep 6, 2014: The 750-ton Wilkins house was moved a few blocks from Augusta Street to Mills Avenue in Greenville, SC.
Courtesy of Preservation SC

The Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation is now Preservation South Carolina. The non-profit, statewide organization is a partner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and has been operating in South Carolina since 1990. Executive Director Michael Bedenbaugh talks about Preservation South Carolina’s latest efforts to "protect and preserve the irreplaceable architectural heritage of South Carolina."

All Stations: Fri, Oct 06, 12 pm | News & Talk Stations: Sun, Oct 08, 4 pm

Senator Ernest F. "Fritz" Hollings
U.S. Congress

New Politics in the Old South: Ernest F. Hollings in the Civil Rights Era (2016, USC Press) is the first scholarly biography of Ernest F. "Fritz" Hollings, a key figure in South Carolina and national political developments in the second half of the twentieth century.

Marine Corp HMM-263 (Vietnam) Helicopter Squadron, know as The Peach Bush Book Club
Marine Corp HMM-263 (Vietnam) Helicopter Squadron, know as The Peach Bush Book Club

Note: Coinciding with broadcast on SCETV of The Vietnam War, a film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick,  Walter Edgar's Journal is re-publishing podcasts of some of our earlier programs.

(Originally broadcast 05/27/11) - Walter Edgar talks with Col. Walt Ledbetter and Duncan McCrae, veterans of the 263rd Marine Helicopter Squadron. Their aim is to compile a history of their experiences in the Vietnam War in 1969-70. They share stories from some of the missions they flew. Ledbetter and McCrae are joined by Clint Chalmers, producer.

Orvil Bumpus, Tim Campbell, Butch Gay, Mike Dickerson, James Henderson, Arthur Beaufort, and John Trulock.
Gordon Humphries / University Of South Carolina, School Of Visual Art and Design

 

Note: Coinciding with broadcast on SCETV of The Vietnam War, a film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick,  Walter Edgar's Journal is re-publishing podcasts of some of our earlier programs.

In 1968, the 319th Transportation Company, an Army Reserve unit, was sent to fight in the Vietnam War. The unit drew most of its members from the Augusta, Georgia/Aiken, S.C. area. During their 11 month tour of duty, they drove their trucks over one million miles, delivering ammunition, supplies, and soldiers to bases around South Vietnam. They called themselves “Troxler's Truckers,” after their commanding officer.

Homer Steedly
Tibby Steedly

 Note: Coinciding with broadcast on SCETV of The Vietnam War, a film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick,  Walter Edgar's Journal is re-publishing podcasts of some of our earlier programs.

(Broadcast 11-14-08) - When we talked to Vietnam War veteran Homer Steedly in 2007 the South Carolina native told us of his plans to return to Vietnam. One of his goals has been to, at last, meet face-to-face with the family of Hoang Ngoc Dam, the young North Vietnamese soldier (a medic) whom he'd killed in March of 1969; and to help locate Dam's remains and return them to his family's village for burial.

Cardinal Joseph Bernardin
dailytheology.org

As a priest, archbishop, and president of the US bishops' conference, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, a native of Columbia, S.C., lived a ministry marked by thoughtfulness, compassion, and conviction. In his book, Joseph Bernardin: Seeking Common Ground (2016, Liturgical Press), Steven P.

"R" is for the Reform Party. During Reconstruction, South Carolina's voting population was about 60% African American—the vast majority of whom voted Republican. In order to win elections, Democrats needed disaffected Republican votes. In 1874 a coalition of Democrats and disaffected Republicans supported candidates under the label of the Reform Party. The campaign was dominated by two sets of accusations: the Reformers accused the Republicans of being dishonest, and the Republicans accused the Reformers of being Democrats.

Dr. Lorien Foote
[CC BY-NC-ND 2.0] / University of Central Arkansas

During the winter of 1864, more than 3,000 Federal prisoners of war escaped from Confederate prison camps into South Carolina and North Carolina, often with the aid of local slaves. Their flight created, in the words of contemporary observers, a "Yankee plague," heralding a grim end to the Confederate cause. In The Yankee Plague: Escaped Union Prisoners and the Collapse of the Confederacy (2016, UNC Press) Dr.

Frank Kearns
WVU Press

Columbian Gerald Davis is co-producer of the 2012 Emmy-winning documentary Frank Kearns: American Correspondent first aired on West Virginia Public Television. Recently, Davis has published Algerian Diary: Frank Kearns and the "Impossible Assignment" for CBS News (2016, WVU Press). He talks with Walter Edgar about his deep dive into Kearns’ life and the assignment that changed the way the U.S. viewed Algeria’s fight for independence from France.

Dr. J. Drew Lanham
Clemson University

(Originally broadcast 04/28/17) -  “In me, there is the red of miry clay, the brown of spring floods, the gold of ripening tobacco. I am, in the deepest sense, colored.” From these fertile soils—of love, land, identity, family, and race—emerges The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man's Love Affair with Nature (2016, Milkweed Editions) a big-hearted, unforgettable memoir by ornithologist J. Drew Lanham.

Dr. Chester DePratter
santa-elena.org

(Originally broadcast 02/03/17) - Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, the founder and first governor of La Florida, established several outposts in what is now the southeastern United States. One was at St. Augustine in 1565 and another in 1566 at the former French outpost of Charlesfort, now known as Santa Elena, on Parris Island, SC. This marked the first Spanish occupation of the locale that would become Spain's capital in the region. In total, the colony of Santa Elena lasted for little more than two decades, as the Spanish abandoned the town in 1587.

Dr. Lacy Ford
University of South Carolina

(Originally broadcast 02/24/17) - Join us for the third public conversation in a four-part series of Conversations on South Carolina: The State and the New Nation, 1783-1828. Dr. Lacy Ford, Dean, College of Arts & Sciences University of South Carolina, and author of Origins of Southern Radicalism: The South Carolina Upcountry, 1800-1860 and Deliver Us From Evil: The Slavery Question in the Old South, will discuss the ideology and public policy of slavery in the American republic.

(Originally broadcast 02/17/17) - For the second lecture in this four-part series of Conversations on South Carolina: The State and the New Nation, 1783-1828. Dr. Larry Watson discusses slavery in South Carolina. Professor Watson is Associate Professor of History & Adjunct Professor of History South Carolina State University and the University of South Carolina. He is author of numerous articles on African American life in the American South.

Peter Coclanis
University of North Carolina

(Originally broadcast 02/10/17) - Dr. Peter Coclanis, the Albert Ray Newsome Distinguished Professor & Director of the Global Research Institute at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, joins Dr. Edgar for the first of a series of Conversations on South Carolina: The State and the New Nation, 1783-1828. Professor Coclanis, author of The Shadow of a Dream: Economic Life and Death in the South Carolina Low Country, 1670-1920, will discuss the historical importance of cotton to the state's economy.

West Fraser
westfraserstudio.com

(Originally Broadcast 04/07/17) - Painting the Southern Coast: The Art of West Fraser (2016, USC Press) is a collection of the works of one of the nation's most respected painters of representational art. A mastery of his medium and the scope of work ensure his place in Southern art history. A true son of the Lowcountry, Fraser has dedicated much of his career to capturing the lush, primordial beauty of the Southeast's coastal regions that have been altered by man and time.

Cassandra King
Courtesy of the Author

(Originally broadcast 03/17/17) - In the Fall of 2016, the Newberry Opera House, in partnership with the Pat Conroy Literary Center, presented a special night in honor of the late author, Pat Conroy. The evening featured Conroy's widow and fellow novelist Cassandra King interviewed by Walter Edgar, and was presented in benefit of the Pat Conroy Literary Center.

Dr. J. Brent Morris
USC Beaufort

Dr. J. Brent Morris, Associate Professor of History and Chair of the Humanities Department at USC Beaufort, returns to Walter Edgar's Journal to talk about the book Yes, Lord, I Know the Road: A Documentary History of African Americans in South Carolina, 1526 – 2008 (2017, USC Press).

All Stations: Fri, July 14, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, July 16, 4 pm

Charleston, South Carolina, 1865. Broad street, looking east with the ruins of Cathedral of St. John and St. Finbar.
Library of Congress; photographer unknown

(Originally broadcast 03/24/17) - South Carolina in the Civil War and Reconstruction Eras (USC Press, 2016) is an anthology of the most enduring and important scholarly articles about the Civil War and Reconstruction era published in the peer-reviewed journal Proceedings of the South Carolina Historical Association.

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