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Walter Edgar's Journal
Walter Edgar's Journal
News & Music Stations: Fri, 12-1 pm; Sat, 7 - 8 am | News & Talk Stations: Fri, 12-1 pm; Sun, 4-5 pm

Walter Edgar's Journal delves into the arts, culture, history of South Carolina and the American South.

In 2021, Walter Edgar's Journal celebrates 21 years on South Carolina Public Radio. As part of the celebration, we delved into the archive to compile a selection of encores of notable episodes, curated by Dr. Edgar.

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

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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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Latest Episodes
  • “C” is for Catesby, Mark (1682-1749). Naturalist, artist. Catesby's richly illustrated The Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands was the first extensively illustrated work on the natural history of any region of North America.
  • 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! For almost 23 years Walter Edgar’s Journal has been exploring 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. For this last radio episode, Walter is joined by producer Alfred Turner and by director of SC Public Radio, Sean Birch. They will listen to clips of past Journal episodes, talk about the growth of the Journal over the past 23 years and listen to clips of upcoming podcasts.
  • In his new book, Carolina's Lost Colony: Stuarts Town and the Struggle for Survival in Early South Carolina (2022, USC Press), historian Peter N. Moore examines the dual colonization of Port Royal at the end of the seventeenth century. From the east came Scottish Covenanters, who established the small outpost of Stuarts Town. Meanwhile, the Yamasee arrived from the south and west. These European and Indigenous colonizers made common cause as they sought to rival the English settlement of Charles Town to the north and the Spanish settlement of St. Augustine to the south. However, as Moore tells Walter Edgar, religious idealism and commercial realities came to a head setting in motion a series of events that transformed the region into a powder keg of colonial ambitions, unleashing a chain of hostilities, realignments, displacement, and destruction that forever altered the region.
  • Edgefield native Drew Lanham wasn’t entirely sure what the phone call from Chicago was about. And, after he heard what the person on the phone had to say, he wasn’t altogether sure he believed the news: Drew had just won a MacArthur Fellowship, commonly known as the “genius grant.”The MacArthur Foundation says that “The 2022 MacArthur Fellows are architects of new modes of activism, artistic practice, and citizen science. They are excavators uncovering what has been overlooked, undervalued, or poorly understood. They are archivists reminding us of what should survive.”Drew Lanham, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Ecology at Clemson University, talks with Walter Edgar about his life, his work, his writing, and about what may lie hopes to achieve through his work.
  • In his fresh and revealing biography, C. Vann Woodward: America's Historian (2022, UNC Press), James Cobb shows, explores how Woodward displayed a rare genius and enthusiasm for crafting lessons from the past that seemed directly applicable to the concerns of the present—a practice that more than once cast doubt on his scholarship. Dr. Cobb talks with Walter Edgar about Woodward and the changing interpretations of Southern history.
  • 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 repercussions of this battle, in which forces led by England’s King Edward III decisively defeated a far larger French army, were felt for hundreds of years, and the exploits of those fighting reached legendary status. Michael Livingston talks with Walter Edgar about how he has used archived manuscripts, satellite technologies and traditional fieldwork to reconstruct this important conflict, including the unlocking of what was arguably the battle’s greatest secret: the location of the now-quiet fields where so many thousands died.
  • Since The Birth of a Nation became the first Hollywood blockbuster in 1915, movies have struggled to reckon with the American South—as both a place and an idea, a reality and a romance, a lived experience, and a bitter legacy. In The South Never Plays Itself: A Film Buff’s Journey Through the South on Screen (2023, UGA Press), author and film critic B. W. Beard explores the history of the Deep South on screen, beginning with silent cinema and ending in the streaming era. Beard talks with Walter Edgar about what the movies got right, and what stereotypes they created or perpetuate.
  • In 1780, Camden was the oldest and largest town in the Carolina backcountry. It was strategic to both the British Army and the Patriots in the Revolutionary War. Following a series of strategic errors before and during the Battle of Camden, the Patriot army under command of Major General Horatio Gates was soundly defeated, ushering in changes in military leadership that altered the war’s course. In November of 2022, the South Carolina Battleground Preservation Trust announced a significant, historic discovery at the battlefield. The Trust, acting on behalf of Historic Camden Foundation, contracted with the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of South Carolina, to excavate a number of bodies of soldiers killed in the August 16, 1780 Battle of Camden. Artifacts from the burial sites are being studied; and the remains will be reintered with full, military honors, following ceremonies April 20-22, 2023, in Camden.
  • Mable Owens Clarke is the sixth-generation steward and matriarch of Soapstone Baptist Church in the rural Pickens County community of Liberia. In 1999, a few days before she died at the age of 104, Mable’s mother, Lula Mae, made her daughter promise never to let the historically Black church close.Mabel, along with Carlton Owen, President of the Soapstone Preservation Endowment, join Walter Edgar this week to tell the remarkable story of how she set out to keep that promise through her monthly, fundraising fish fries held at the church - and how word of her delicious, traditional foods spread the word about Soapstone Church around the world.
  • 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 Carolina and tells the stories of this transformative chapter of American history.On this week’s episode of Walter Edgar’s Journal Dr. Edgar talks with Doug Bostick, Exec. Dir and CEO of the South Carolina Battleground Preservation Trust, and Catherine Noyes, Liberty Trail Program Director for the American Battlefield Trust.