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“F” is for Fort Jackson

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“F” is for Fort Jackson. Established in 1917 as the Sixth National Army Cantonment and named for President Andrew Jackson, this post in Richland County was originally called Camp Jackson. During World War I, it served primarily as a training ground for new soldiers. Deactivated in 1922, it was transferred in 1925 to the S.C. National Guard. Reactivated in 1938, Camp Jackson was upgraded to “fort” status in 1940. Throughout World War II, the post was again used to train new recruits. Fort Jackson became one of the first army installations to undergo large-scale desegregation. In 1977 pioneering experiments with gender-integrated training were conducted there. It was one of the first to implement this change in 1994. By the end of the twentieth century Fort Jackson had become the army’s largest training post for new soldiers.

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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 B.A. 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.