Walter Edgar

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"S" is for Southern 500.The Southern 500 at Darlington was the oldest and one of the most storied races on the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing’s (NASCAR) Winston Cup circuit. With a seventy-five-car field, the first race was held on Labor Day 1950. It was the first Grand National (later Winston Cup) race contested on a paved superspeedway and NASCAR’s first five hundred mile race. While the Southern 500 was an important NASCAR event, it was also an important happening on the social calendars of many South Carolinians.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"S" is for South of the Border. Located just south of the North Carolina border near the town of Hamer, South of the Border has long captured the attention of travelers on U.S. Highway 301 and Interstate 95. In 1950, beer distributor Alan Schafer opened a one-room beer depot to sell beer to dry Robeson County, North Carolina. Construction materials for the new business were delivered to “Schafer project: south of the border,” thus inspiring the name for the enterprise. The expansion of the beer depot into a large entertainment complex began in 1954.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"S" is for South Carolina Plan (1944). On April 3, 1944, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Smith v. Allwright, that the white primary in Texas was unconstitutional. On April 12, 1944, South Carolina governor Olin D. Johnston called a special session of the General Assembly and urged the legislators to repeal all primary laws from the statute books—in order to maintain white supremacy in the state’s primaries. The General Assembly responded by passing 147 bills in six days separating party primaries from the control of state government.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"S" is for "South Carolina on My Mind." State song. “South Carolina on My Mind” became an official state song in 1984. The ballad was composed by Hank Martin and performed and recorded by him and his partner Buzz Arledge. Both were native South Carolinians and professional musicians in Nashville and New York City. Martin was inspired to write the state song in part by the poem “A Carolina Love Song” written by his father-in-law, the Reverend Riley Munday—a Baptist minister, humorist, and sometime poet-in-residence at Columbia College.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"S" is for South Carolina-North Carolina border. In 1735 the two colonies appointed a joint boundary commission. From a point thirty miles south of the Cape Fear River a straight line was to run northwest until it reached the 35th parallel—and from there a straight line would run to the Pacific Ocean. Because of surveying errors, South Carolina’s northern boundary was eleven miles south of where it should have been. To correct this mistake, the boundary was extended seventeen miles north of the 35th parallel and westward to the crest of the Saluda Mountains.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"S" is for South Carolina National Heritage Corridor. The South Carolina National Heritage Corridor is a grassroots-led heritage tourism initiative that brings together communities throughout a fourteen-county region from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Oconee County to the Atlantic Ocean along Charleston and Colleton Counties. Receiving congressional recognition in 1996 as a “national heritage area” and funded in part by the National Parks Service, the Heritage Corridor is more than a regional tourism promotion effort.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"S" is for South Carolina Medical Association. In 1814, members of the Medical Society of South Carolina—largely a Charleston organization—founded the South Carolina Medical Association (SCMA) in an effort to organize physicians across the state.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"S" is for South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance. The South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance (SCMA), a powerful networking, information, and lobbying group for the state’s manufacturing industries began as an organization for cotton mill owners in 1902. The association hired its first lobbyist in the late 1920s and became a visible and powerful voice for the textile industry. After World War II--under the leadership of John K. Cauthen-- the organization guided state leaders in helping to transform South Carolina’s agricultural economy into a more diversified, industrial one.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"S" is for South Carolina Lunatic Asylum/State Hospital. The South Carolina Lunatic Asylum, located in Columbia, opened in 1828. It is the third-oldest state mental institution in the United States. The original building, named after its architect, Robert Mills, is the nation’s oldest surviving state mental hospital structure and a National Historical Landmark. In 1896 the asylum was renamed the South Carolina State Hospital for the Insane caring for large numbers of patients deemed chronic and incurable. In 1913 the state built a separate facility for black patients outside Columbia.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"S" is for South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. The origins of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) date back to 1947. Governor Strom Thurmond issued an executive order creating the organization with statewide authority. Thurmond’s actions came at the behest of sheriffs and police chiefs seeking a centralized agency fashioned after the FBI, whereby manpower, technical assistance, and expertise could be utilized. From its fledgling beginnings of fifteen employees, the agency has grown to more than 500 sworn and civilian employees.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"S" is for South Carolina Land Commission. The General Assembly established the South Carolina Land Commission in 1869. The commission’s goal was to purchase land for sale that would be sold to landless black Carolinians on favorable terms. The state thus embarked on a unique experiment, using its authority to assist freedmen in acquiring land. Perhaps as many as 1,400 African American families had been settled on commission lands by 1890. Most were unable to purchase their plots, but at least 960 received title to 45,000 acres. Whites acquired he remainder of the 73,000 acres.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"S" is for South Carolina Jockey Club. In 1758 a group of lowcountry gentlemen founded the South Carolina Jockey Club. By the early 1770s Race week became the most important time of the year for many South Carolinians. During the Revolutionary War, the club suspended activities. Although the club disbanded in 1788 and 1791, it was reestablished. At the turn of the nineteenth century, South Carolina Jockey Club ushered in what would be called the “golden age of racing.” The club’s annual races—usually held in January and February—served as the high point of the Charleston social season.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"S" is for South Carolina Inter-State and West Indian Exposition. Held in Charleston from December 1, 1901, to June 30, 1902, the West Indian Exposition followed world’s fairs in other southern cities. The Charleston Exposition Company raised funds through stock subscriptions, municipal bonds, and the state government. The goal of the exposition was to stimulate trade through the city’s harbor. Its proponents sought to position Charleston as the principal port of exchange between the United States and the Caribbean and Latin America.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"S" is for South Carolina Historical Society. Located in Charleston, the South Carolina Historical Society is the state’s oldest historical society and one of South Carolina’s largest private manuscript archives. Founded in 1855, the society’s mission is “to collect information respecting every portion of our State, to preserve it, and when deemed advisable to publish it.” To this end the organization’s founders established a noncirculating research library. In 1900 the society began publication of the South Carolina Historical Magazine.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"S" is for South Carolina Highway Patrol. Operating under the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, the South Carolina Highway Patrol is a law enforcement organization that concentrates on traffic violations. The State Highway Patrol was originally a field unit of the State Highway Department’s Motor Vehicle Division. The patrol began operation in 1930 equipped with uniforms, badges, guns, summons books, and motorcycles. In 1953 the patrol became a separate division of the department. The existence and duties of the patrol were contentious from its founding.

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