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South Carolina Between World Wars: The Great Depression

Lewis Hinter with his family on Lady's Island off Beaufort, South Carolina, 1936
Library of Congress. Photo by Carl Mydans, U.S. Farm Security Administration
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Lewis Hinter with his family on Lady's Island off Beaufort, South Carolina, 1936

Following World War I, South Carolina’s economy collapsed. The post-World-War-I drop in demand for textiles, the subsequent collapse in cotton prices, the exhaustion of farmland through poor farming practices, and the decimation of cotton crops by the boll weevil hit South Carolinians hard. Then came the stock market crash on Black Thursday in 1929 and the nation’s plunge into the Great Depression. People were starving, businesses were failing, farms were being repossessed, and sharecroppers were squeezed between the need to grow their own food and their landlords’ demands.

Dr. Melissa Walker, George Dean Johnson, Jr. Professor of History Emerita of Converse College talks with Walter Edgar about how South Carolina made it through.

All Stations: Fri, Jan 03, 2020, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Jan 05, 4 pm

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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.