South Carolina

'Gator on Durham Creek, Berkeley County
Victoria Hansen/SC Public Radio

Ron Russell has been catching alligators in the Lowcountry for nearly 30 years.  Each fall, people hire him as a guide for the state's public hunt.  But this year, he says gators, especially the big ones, were harder to find.

"We've harvested the heck out of them with all three programs the last 12 years," said Russell.  "I think it's going to start showing up we can't maintain this every year without it actually hurting the population dramatically.  I've already seen the decrease in population just in this area."

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"C" is for Cattle ranching. Cow pens, cattle drives, and open-range herding—typically associated with the American West—were important features of the agricultural landscape of colonial South Carolina. British settlers brought husbandry traditions to the colony. Many enslaved West Africans also had extensive knowledge of cattle raising. Cattle ranching, a lucrative frontier occupation appeared first in the lowcountry, where black bondsmen became America's first cowboys. Periodically, cattle drives occurred, and drovers or "crackers" using whips herded livestock to Charleston.

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.

South Carolina Focus
SC Public Radio

The curtain surrounding the ongoing probe into alleged Statehouse corruption was raised some this week as special prosecutor David Pascoe alleged for the first time in open court that the powerful Republican political consultant, Richard Quinn, Sr. is at the center of what he called a “sphere of unlawful influence over elected officials." Quinn and four current and former legislators were indicted last week on criminal conspiracy charges.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"P" is for Pike, John Martin [1840-1932]. Clergyman, editor, publisher. A Canadian and ordained Methodist clergyman, Pike was invited to preach at Columbia’s Washington Street Methodist Church. He moved to the state and served churches in in Lynchburg, Sumter, Summerville, and Charleston. In 1893 he became editor of a periodical, The Way of Faith.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"M" is for McNair, Robert Evander [1923-2007]. Attorney, legislator, governor. After serving in the Pacific theater during World War II, McNair graduated from USC and moved to Allendale—the hometown of his wife, Josephine. From 1951 until 1963 he represented Allendale County in the South Carolina House of Representatives. In 1962 he was elected lieutenant governor. When Governor Donald Russell resigned in April 1965, McNair became governor. He was elected to a full term in 1966.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"L" is for Loggerhead Turtle. State Reptile. The loggerhead turtle, a threatened species, is one of the world’s eight living species of turtles--and evolved some sixty-five to seventy million years ago. At birth, hatchlings are about two inches long. Adults can weight between 200 and250 pounds. The animal is reddish brown and yellow and has a distinctive large head—the source of its name--with powerful jaws enabling it to crush clams, crustaceans, and other food. Its great size and hard shell protect adult turtles from most predators.

"H" is for Highway 301

Oct 17, 2017
South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"H" is for Highway 301. Construction of this major US highway in South Carolina began in 1932, when the federal government began taking over the maintenance and construction of many state roads. The route began in Baltimore, Maryland and ended in Sarasota, Florida—crossing through many towns in eastern South Carolina: including Dillon, Latta, Florence, Manning, Olanta, Sumerton, Bamberg, and Allendale. From the North Carolina border to the Savannah River, Highway 301 covers a distance of approximately 180 miles.

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.

"G" is for the German Friendly Society. Oldest of all the German male social organizations in Charleston, the German Friendly Society was founded by Michael Kalteisen and Daniel Strobel in 1766. Originally it was a social and mutual-aid society to pay sick and death benefits, and allow members to borrow funds at low interest rates. Within a few years, German ethnicity was no longer a requirement for membership.

"G" is for Georgetown County [815 square miles; population 55,797]. Named in honor of King George III, Georgetown County lies in the fertile plain surrounding Winyah Bay. Its early wealth lay in the maze of rivers and creeks that traversed the county that produced timber, naval stores, and rice. With the tidal cultivation of rice came thousands of slaves. By 1860, slaves accounted for 85 percent of the county's population. After Reconstruction, the county's white and black population shared political offices and power under what was called a fusion plan until 1900.

"F" is for Florence County [800 square miles; population 125,761]. Created in 1888, Florence County lies between the Great Pee Dee and Lynches Rivers in the eastern part of the state. In the late antebellum period, three railroads intersected in the area and the town of Florence developed. With the creation of the county, the town became the county seat. Railroads and agriculture would be the economic mainstays of the county until well into the 20th century.

"F" is for Flat Nose

Sep 5, 2017

"F" is for Flat Nose. In the 1980s, Flat Nose, a Darlington County bulldog, attracted international attention because of his ability to climb pine trees. According to his owner Barney Odom, Flat Nose developed his tree-climbing ability as a puppy despite Odom's best efforts to stop him. After regional media gave the dog considerable attention, he and his owner were invited to appear on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

"E" is for Eleanor Clubs. During the early years of World War II, white South Carolinians, like other white southerners, passed rumors about “Eleanor Clubs.” They told each other that their black help—inspired by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt—were organizing quasi-unions to raise their pay or leave domestic employment. And, they vowed to have a white woman in every kitchen by Christmas. Then they would start to press for social equality and, finally, the overthrow of white-led government.

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.

(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.

"M" is for Magrath, Andrew Gordon [1813-1893]. Governor, jurist. After graduating from the South Carolina College, Magrath (pronounced like McGraw) studied law at Harvard and with James L. Petigru. In 1856 he was appointed a federal district judge and, in the cases surrounding two ships seized for as slave traders—the Echo and the Wanderer—declared that the federal statues on piracy did not apply to the slave trade. His decision was hailed in the South and condemned in the North.

"L" is for Lamar Riot

Aug 3, 2017

"L" is for Lamar Riot. The Lamar Riot, on March 3, 1970, was the most violent reaction against court-ordered school desegregation in South Carolina. A planned boycott to resist the court order failed. The riots occurred when a mob of 150-200 white men and women, armed with ax handles, bricks, and chains overturned two school buses that had delivered black students to Lamar elementary and high schools in Darlington County. They clashed with about 150 South Carolina highway patrolmen and SLED agents.

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.

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.

Fire Ants
Marufish via Flickr [CC BY-SA 2.0]

    Fire ants are a perennial problem in the South, and in South Carolina, but science is working to control them.  Aiken County Clemson Extension Agent Vicki Bertagnalli and former Richland County Clemson Extension Agent Tim Davis both have tested ant baits before they were marketed, and say they can be 85-90 percent effective in controlling fire ants when used in the spring and fall. 

Columbia Moves Closer to 100% Renewable Energy

May 31, 2017
Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin is one of 26 mayors to particpiate in the Sierra Club's Ready for 100 Campaign
Thelisha Eaddy/ SC Public Radio

Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin is one of over 60 mayors across the U.S. who has joined with the Sierra Club's Ready for 100 Campaign. The goal is to get 100 cities to switch from fossil fuel to clean energy. During a press conference Wednesday, Mayor Benjamin said decisions made by President Trump highlights the need for local governments to work together on environmental policy making.

"It only underscores the importance of the true leadership at every level of government, pushing to make sure that we hand over to our children the country and the world that they deserve."

A History of Beaufort County - Bridging the Sea Islands' Past and Present, 1893 to 2006
University of South Carolina Press

(Originally broadcast 12/09/16) - In the third volume of the history of Beaufort County, Lawrence S. Rowland and Stephen R. Wise conclude their five hundred–year chronicle of the legendary South Carolina Sea Islands. A History of Beaufort County - Bridging the Sea Islands' Past and Present, 1893–2006 (2016, USC Press) begins with the devastating Sea Island Hurricane of 1893, one of the worst natural disasters in American history.

Greenville Chautauqua illustration: Rachel Carson, Cesar Chavez, Maya Angelou, Abraham Lincoln
Greenville Chautauqua

Before radio and television, traveling cultural tent shows toured across America. The original Chautauqua was a road show of music, entertainment, and always a great speaker of the day. At their peak, Tent Chautauquas appeared in over 10,000 communities and preformed for more than 45 million people.

Members of the House-Senate Conference Committee debating a road funding bill on May 4, 2017.
S.C. Senate

With one week remaining before adjournment, the S.C. General Assembly still has some heavy lifting to do.

An advertisement for the fair appears in the Keowee Courier (Pickens Court House, S.C.), October 18, 1905.
South Carolina Digital Newspaper Room/https://library.sc.edu/blogs/newspaper/

Dr. Rodger Stroup, retired Director of the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, is taking a deep dive into the history of the South Carolina State Fair, doing research for an upcoming book on the subject. Stroup talks with Walter Edgar about the history of South Carolina’s fair—which goes back farther than you think—in context with other states’ fairs.

All Stations: Fri, May 05, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, May 07, 4 pm

"G" is for Grand Strand. South Carolina’s Grand Strand is an uninterrupted strip of sandy beaches that officially stretches along sixty miles of Horry and Georgetown Counties from the North Carolina border to Winyah Bay. Unofficially the Grand Strand has referred to the greater Myrtle Beach area since the early 1920s. The Grand Strand is an unbroken strip of municipalities and communities strung together along US Highway 17. The first visitors were middle class and blue-color families from the Carolinas, but today's vacationers come from all over.

 "F" is for the Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina [1669-1698]. Part Constitution and part promotional tract, the Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina comprised a much-revised document that the Lords Proprietors created to govern their New World province. Among the guiding principles of the constitutions were that landownership was the bedrock of society and that Carolina’s government should avoid creating a "numerous democracy." The proprietors’ insistence on provisions for considerable religious liberty was innovative.

"D" is for Drayton, Percival [1812-1865]. Naval Officer. Born in Charleston, Drayton’s family moved to Philadelphia in the 1830s. At fifteen, he was appointed a midshipman in the US Navy. Eventually he commanded a variety of vessels, including the Mississippi, the navy’s third steam-powered warship. In 1861, he held the rank of commander. While many southern-born officers resigned their commissions, Drayton chose to remain with the Union. In October 1861 he commanded a ship in the Port Royal Expedition.

"C" is for Charleston Hospital Workers’ Strike [1969]. In Charleston in 1969, more than 400 African American hospital workers (mostly female) went on strike against the all-white administrations of the Medical College Hospital and Charleston County Hospital. The strike against the Medical College lasted one hundred days during the spring and summer; the one at Charleston County went on for an additional three weeks.

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