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charleston history

Tropical cyclones, better known as “hurricanes,” have ostensibly caused catastrophic damage to the Lowcountry for centuries, although the first recorded storm was not until 1854.

The Charleston Museum’s 19th-century curator, Gabriel E. Manigault, masterfully prepared dozens of skeletons now on view in a special exhibit

A quick look back at Isle of Palms history

Calling out his creative seafood sales pitches, huckster and political provocateur Joe Cole became a cultural institution in 19th-century Charleston

As a whole, South Carolinians (and plenty of vacationers who fall in love with this place) adore our state flag. We wear renderings of it on clothing and accessories, stick it to car bumpers, and incorporate it into company logos. For some, it’s merely about that pretty palmetto tree and its crescent ”moon,” but many love it for its history. They know that in 1775, Colonel (later General) William Moultrie designed a flag for his American patriots consisting of a white crescent on a solid blue background—the color of his men’s uniforms. That banner was waving over tiny Fort Sullivan on June 28, 1776, when Moultrie’s troops defeated the British at the Battle of Sullivan’s Island, with a good deal of help from the native palmettos. In honor of Carolina Day, here’s more about our fascinating flag

Ninety years after the untimely death of Edmund Thornton Jenkins, Spoleto Festival USA premieres his unfinished operetta, Afram ou La Belle Swita. Learn more about the son of the world-renowned Jenkins Orphanage Band founder who became one of the first American composers to merge musical nuances of the black South with the concert traditions of Europe and quite possibly helped inspire the music of Porgy and Bess

 

An enthralling new novel brings the history of a Charleston landmark to life

Towering over 65 feet high, this majestic Southern live oak (Quercus virginiana) is said to be the oldest living thing east of the Mississippi River, having survived for some 400 or 500 years, though some claim it’s existed for as many as 1,500. To put that in perspective, the tree’s magnificent branches were likely providing shade on John’s Island before the Mayflower arrived in Plymouth

Berkeley County’s boozy history as a corn-liquor capital during prohibition

 

For a century, turkey buzzards reigned over the Market. So what finally forced the iconic creatures to flee their favorite streets?

The Waring Historical Library’s portrait project

Nancy Stevenson made South Carolina history as lieutenant governor

This forbidding-looking structure at 21 Magazine Street holds a darker, more haunting side of Charleston history. Surrounded by a high brick wall, with windows grated with double rows of bars, the Charleston District Jail first opened in 1802 and remained operational until 1939. During those years, it housed some of the city’s most nefarious characters, from murderers to 19th-century pirates, along with thousands of unfortunates who were simply debtors, enslaved, or falsely accused. Many died during their incarceration—some from disease or suicide, others put to death for their crimes on the jail’s gallows. Do their ghosts still lurk in the building’s dark halls? Many believe they do