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The Open Space Institute’s mission is to protect scenic, natural, and historic landscapes to provide public enjoyment, conserve habitat and working lands, and sustain communities. Over the past 40 years, the institute has saved 2,285,092 acres of land through direct acquisition, grants, and loans. Having begun by focusing on land in New York State,…
 
The signs are there: our coastal cities are increasingly susceptible to flooding as the climate changes. Charleston, South Carolina, is no exception, and is one of the American cities most vulnerable to rising sea levels. Lowcountry at High Tide: A History of Flooding, Drainage, and Reclamation in Charleston, South Carolina (USC Press, 2010) is the…
 
When the 11- and 12-year-olds on the Cannon Street YMCA all-star team registered for a baseball tournament in Charleston, South Carolina, in July 1955, it put the team and the forces of integration on a collision. White teams refused to take the field with the Cannon Street all-stars, the first Black Little League team in South Carolina.The Cannon …
 
November 11th is currently celebrated as Veteran’s Day in the United States. But it was first known here, as it still is around the world, as Armistice Day – the day in 1918 when Germany and its allies signed the armistice to end World War I. Armistice Day is still a very important day of commemoration throughout Europe.In 2014, the 100th anniversa…
 
In 1985, Mark Bryan heard Darius Rucker singing in a dorm shower at the University of South Carolina and asked him to form a band. For the next eight years, Hootie & the Blowfish—completed by bassist Dean Felber and drummer Soni Sonefeld—played every frat house, roadhouse, and rock club in the mid-Atlantic and Southeast, becoming one of the biggest…
 
With his book, Crécy: Battle of Five Kings (2022, Osprey), Michael Livingston, professor of medieval history at The Citadel, has authored a remarkable new study on the Battle of Crécy, in which the outnumbered English under King Edward III won a decisive victory over the French and changed the course of the Hundred Years War.The Battle of Crécy in …
 
Chris Smith’s first encounter with okra was of the worst kind: slimy fried okra at a greasy-spoon diner.Despite that dismal introduction, Smith developed a fascination with okra, and as he researched the plant and began to experiment with it in his own kitchen, he discovered an amazing range of delicious ways to cook and eat it, along with ingeniou…
 
Daniel Harrison, author of Live at Jackson Station: Music, Community, and Tragedy in a Southern Blues Bar (2021, USC Press), talks with Walter Edgar about how Jackson Station, in the little upstate town of Hodges, SC, emerged as a cultural kaleidoscope that served as an oasis of tolerance and diversity in a time and place that often suffered from u…
 
In their new book, Taste the State: South Carolina's Signature Foods, Recipes, and Their Stories (2021, USC Press), authors Kevin Mitchell and David S. Shields present the cultural histories of native ingredients and showcase the evolution of the dishes and the variety of preparations that have emerged. They talk with Walter Edgar about true Caroli…
 
Early in the twentieth century, for-profit companies such as Duke Power and South Carolina Electric and Gas brought electricity to populous cities and towns across South Carolina, while rural areas remained in the dark. It was not until the advent of publicly owned electric cooperatives in the 1930s that the South Carolina countryside was gradually…
 
In 2022, USC Press published Brookgreen Gardens: Ever Changing. Simply Amazing. More than just a beautiful coffee table book highlighting the art and fauna of Brookgreen, the volume tells the story of the creation and growth of Brookgreen Gardens, as well as stories of the peoples who lived on and worked the land in the past.Walter Edgar talks with…
 
Dr. Constance Schulz, Distinguished Professor Emerita of the University of South Carolina’s Public History Program, joins Walter Edgar this week to talk about the importance of “public history” and how it has evolved as a field of study over the last 50 years. Schulz is the winner of the Robert Kelley Memorial Award from the National Council on Pub…
 
Alice Ravenel Huger Smith (1876–1958), a leader of the Charleston Renaissance, immortalized the beauty and history of the Carolina Lowcountry and helped propel the region into an important destination for cultural tourism.In the book Alice: Alice Ravenel Huger Smith, Charleston Renaissance Artist, Dwight McInvail and his co-authors draw on unpublis…
 
Shrimp, one of our most delicious food sources, was once only considered worthy of bait. In her new book, Shrimp Tales: Small Bites of History (2022, Primedia eLaunch), author Beverly Bowers Jennings tells the fascinating story of the shrimp industry, from the shrimp boats and their captains to fishing family lore, tasty recipes and more.Jennings t…
 
In 2021, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers celebrates the 150th anniversary of its founding. The Corps' Charleston District has a unique and varied program that grows larger every year. The Civil Works, Navigation, Regulatory, Emergency Management, Military, and Interagency and International Services programs serve a diverse group of customers that …
 
Seven minutes past midnight on March 10, 1945, nearly 300 American B-29s thundered into the skies over Tokyo. Their payloads of incendiaries ignited a firestorm that reached up to 2,800 degrees, liquefying asphalt and vaporizing thousands; sixteen square miles of the city were flattened, and more than 100,000 men, women, and children were killed.In…
 
Stephen Atkins Swails is a forgotten American hero. A free Black in the North before the Civil War began, Swails exhibited such exemplary service in the 54th Massachusetts Infantry that he became the first African American commissioned as a combat officer in the United States military. After the war, Swails remained in South Carolina, where he held…
 
Historic Columbia’s Boyd Foundation Horticultural Center, located on the grounds of the Hampton-Preston Mansion & Gardens on Blanding Street opened this year. Its greenhouse allows the historic site to serve as a hub for horticultural research and plant propagation, alongside ongoing interpretation, and programming. The greenhouse and gatehouse con…
 
George McDaniel served as the Executive Director of Drayton Hall, a mid-18th-century plantation located on the Ashley River near Charleston for more than 25 years. His new book, Drayton Hall Stories: A Place and Its People (2022, Evening Post Books) focuses on this historic site’s recent history, using interviews with descendants (both White and Bl…
 
America’s independence was secured in South Carolina, across its swamps, fields, woods and mountains. These events of 1779-1782 directly led to victory in the Revolutionary War.The Liberty Trail – developed through a partnership between the American Battlefield Trust and the South Carolina Battleground Trust – connects battlefields across South Car…
 
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