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Walter Edgar's Journal
First and third Friday of each month. Bonus episodes on fifth Fridays.

Someone once said, “All roads lead to Rome.” Maybe...

But longtime historian, author, and radio host Walter Edgar believes it’s a safer bet that all roads pass through South Carolina. And lot of them start here.

On Walter Edgar’s Journal, he delves into the arts, culture, and history of South Carolina and the American South, to find out, among other things... the mysteries of okra, how many "Reconstructions" there have been since the Civil War, and why the road through the Supreme Court to civil rights has been so rocky.

Join Walter Edgar with co-host Alfred Turner and their guests the first and third Thursday of each month for Walter Edgar’s Journal. Listen to the episodes on this page, subscribe through the links below, listen in the SCETV App, or ask your smart speaker to "play Walter Edgar's Journal."

Click here to playDr. Walter Edgar's South Carolina Quiz!

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Latest Episodes
  • Margaret Seidler thought she knew her family’s history. Then, a genealogical search on-line led her to connect with a cousin who, unlike Margaret, was Black. Determined to find as much as she could about her lineage, Margaret soon came face to face with more than just an expanded family tree. And what she found led her to devote years to historical research and many difficult conversations about the centrality of the institution of slavery in Charleston, and the part some of her ancestors played in helping it flourish. This week we talk with Margaret Seidler about how this journey into history challenged her and about her new book, Payne-ful Business: Charleston’s Journey to Truth (2024, Evening Post Books).In the book, Seidler has written about the realities of Charleston’s racial history while highlighting the historians, journalists, and community members who work to reconcile those truths. And the enslaved individuals whom she found advertised for sale in ante bellum newspapers are brought to vivid life by artist John W. Jones. He truly uncovers the humanity hidden beneath those detached advertisements.
  • In 1976, the Cowpens, SC, Bicentennial Committee decided that the next town festival would be called the Mighty Moo Festival in honor of former crewmen of the USS Cowpens WWII aircraft carrier. Over the years since, many veterans who served on the ship during the war have attended the festival along with their families. Today, the town continues to celebrate the service of the carrier each father's day.In his book, The Mighty Moo: The USS Cowpens and Her Epic World War II Journey from Jinx Ship to the Navy’s First Carrier into Tokyo Bay, Nathan Canestaro tells the story of the ship and its untested crew who earned a distinguished combat record and beat incredible odds to earn 12 battle stars in the Pacific.Nathan joins us this week to talk about The Might Moo.
  • This week we're talking with Joseph McGill and Herb Frazier, authors of Sleeping with the Ancestors: How I Followed the Footprints of Slavery (2023, Hachette).Since founding the Slave Dwelling Project in 2010, Joseph McGill has been spending the night in slave dwellings throughout the South, but also the in North and in the West, where people are often surprised to learn that such structures exist. Events and gatherings arranged around these overnight stays have provided a unique way to understand the complex history of slavery. McGill and Frazier talk with us about how the project got started and about the sometimes obscured or ignored aspects of the history in the United States.
  • This week we'll be talking with Richard Hatcher, author of the book, Thunder in the Harbor: Fort Sumter and the Civil War. Construction of Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor began after British forces captured and occupied Washington during the War of 1812 via a naval attack. The fort was still incomplete in 1861 when the Battle of Fort Sumter occurred, sparking the American Civil War.In writing Thunder in the Harbor, Rick Hatcher conducted the first modern study to document the fort from its origins up to its transfer to the National Park Service in 1948.
  • This week, we'll be talking with author Kevin Duffus about his book, The 1768 Charleston Lighthouse : Finding the Light in the Fog of History.Charleston’s first lighthouse was established on Middle Bay Island in 1768. The history of the lighthouse, however, has been lost in a fog of misinformation. Kevin Duffus conducted extensive research for his book and has been able to reconstruct the history of America’s seventh – and tallest at the time – lighthouse. Kevin will tell us about the structure's distinctive architecture inspired by Charleston's St. Michael's Church, the ingenious Irishman who designed and built it, its variety of lighting systems, its involvement in three wars, and is tragic end.
  • In his book, The Garretts of Columbia: A Black South Carolina Family from Slavery to the Dawn of Integration, David Nicholson tells the story of his great-grandparents, Casper George Garrett and his wife, Anna Maria, and their family.A multigenerational story of hope and resilience, The Garretts of Columbia is an American history of Black struggle, sacrifice, and achievement - a family history as American history, rich with pivotal events viewed through the lens of the Garretts's lives.