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Charleston Time Machine
38 minutes | 25 days ago
Episode 179: Charleston’s Contested Election of 1868
What happens when politicians refuse to concede defeat and won’t leave office? During a period of smoldering racial and political tensions in post-Civil War Charleston, the city’s incumbent mayor and aldermen created a six-month legal soap opera by repeatedly refusing to heed the results of a municipal election and ignoring court orders to vacate their offices. https://www.ccpl.org/charleston-time-machine/charlestons-contested-election-1868 #chsnews #chsreads
36 minutes | a month ago
Episode 178: The Decline of Voting Suppression in South Carolina, 1900–1965
In early twentieth-century South Carolina, conservative White men manipulated the state’s legal framework to silence dissenting voices. The national campaign to dismantle barriers to Black suffrage gained steam in the 1930s and gradually undermined local traditions of White supremacy. Before the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s, a series of legislative changes unlocked the door to Black voting. Read more: https://www.ccpl.org/charleston-time-machine/decline-voting-suppression-south-carolina-1900-1965
31 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 175: Recall Their Names: The Personal Identity of Enslaved South Carolinians
The records of early South Carolina contain thousands of personal names applied to many generations of people held in legal bondage. By sampling this body of names, we detect trends and evidence of resistance that help us understand their experiences and acknowledge the personal identities of the men and women who once formed the state’s enslaved majority. More: https://www.ccpl.org/charleston-time-machine/recall-their-names-personal-identity-enslaved-south-carolinians
34 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 171: A Trashy History of Charleston’s Dumps and Incinerators
The City of Charleston addressed rising volumes of garbage in the early 20th century with traditional methods of open dumping and the new science of incineration. The advent of new landfill practices in the 1950s ended municipal trash burning, but creative recycling preserved one historic structure and smokestacks that anchor an important part of the city’s trashy history.
31 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 170: Bee Jackson’s 1926 Visit to Charleston: Behind the Scenes
Professional dancer Bee Jackson’s brief sojourn to Charleston in April 1926 was immortalized on film, but the motivation behind her visit is less visible. She didn’t come here to work, nor was she paid for dancing at private parties and outdoor photo shoots. So why did Bee take a detour from her lucrative international career to do the “Charleston” in Charleston?
34 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 169: Representing Charleston at the 1926 National “Charleston” Contest
Two young dancers from Charleston went to Chicago in 1926 to compete in the first national “Charleston” contest. Their steps were judged the most graceful and refined, but they were overshadowed by more acrobatic interpretations of the popular dance. Nevertheless, the mayor and the local business community deemed the venture a marketing triumph for the city.
26 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 168: Who Were the Best “Charlestoners” in Jazz-Age Charleston?
The “Charleston” was a national sensation in 1925, while critics in this city rebuked its charms. The prospect of a national dance contest, generating a bounty of advertising, finally convinced local leaders to embrace it. A series of contests in early 1926 determined the city’s best white dancers, who raced to Chicago with the mayor to receive a royal welcome.
22 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 167: Bee Jackson Wanted to “Charleston” in Charleston in 1925
Bee Jackson was a professional dancer in the 1920s who promoted herself as the “originator” of the “Charleston.” To bolster her claims, she sought validation from the source of the dance. But Charleston were “Charleston” shy in 1925, and Bee’s request for the keys to the city sparked a debate about the economic value of the popular dance craze.
19 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 166: Tracing the Roots of the “Charleston” Dance
The world-famous “Charleston” tune and dance arose from the melting pot of New York City in the 1920s and became an enduring icon of the exuberant Jazz Age. We might not have invented the “Charleston” in Charleston, but evidence suggests that Lowcountry residents provided the inspiration and key elements that define its iconic rhythm and footwork.
35 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 165: Remembering Charleston’s Liberty Tree, Part 2
After citizens planned rebellion and celebrated independence beneath Charleston’s Liberty Tree, British soldiers tried to obliterate its legacy. Some sons of the Revolution never forgot its symbolic role, and preserved memories of the tree throughout the nineteenth century. Thanks to their trail of clues, we can reconstruct a path to the site of the tree that once symbolized resistance against injustice.
33 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 164: Remembering Charleston’s Liberty Tree, Part 1
Charleston’s Liberty Tree is an important part of the story of the American Revolution in South Carolina. From the earliest protests over taxation in the 1760s to the British siege of 1780, it served as a venue for political debates and patriotic celebrations. Today we’ll examine the roots of its symbolic meaning and its role in the journey to independence.
25 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 163: Juneteenth, Febteenth, and Emancipation Day in Charleston
Commemorating the end of slavery has been an annual tradition across the United States since the end of the Civil War, but there is no single date of observance. Whether one celebrates “Juneteenth” or some other “Emancipation Day” is largely a matter of geography. Today we’ll explore the history of emancipation and focus on the story of Charleston’s own celebratory traditions.
29 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 162: The Rise of Charleston’s Horn Work, Part 2
Scores of laborers transformed tons of oyster shells into a towering concrete barrier to protect the town’s northern boundary in the late 1750s, but the changing tide of world events convinced local authorities to abandon the Horn Work before its completion. This turbulent genesis forms a long-forgotten prelude to the gallant defense of South Carolina’s capital during the American Revolution.
31 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 161: The Rise of Charleston’s Horn Work, Part 1
The story of the tabby fort that became an American citadel during the British siege of 1780 commenced decades before the Revolution. It arose from efforts to protect Charleston’s backside, and superseded earlier works. Prompted by a new war with France in 1756, local officials and royal engineers ordered the construction of new fortifications that transformed the Lowcountry landscape.
33 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 160: The Horn Work: Marion Square’s Tabby Fortress
Have you heard the story of the Horn Work in Marion Square? You know—that mysterious, unobtrusive, lumpy slab of concrete covered with oyster shells standing in the park near King Street? Did you know it’s actually a tiny remnant of a massive fortress that once controlled access to colonial-era Charleston? And it was the city’s first citadel during the American Revolution? The Horn Work is one of Charleston’s biggest secrets hiding in plain sight, and today we’ll review the most salient chapters of its must-read story.
29 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 159: Hucksters’ Paradise: Mobile Food in Urban Charleston, Part 2
The “golden age” of huckstering food in the streets of Charleston dawned after the Civil War, when formerly-enslaved people expanded this popular form of marketing. Urban hucksters became nostalgic characters in an increasingly romanticized version of local history in the twentieth century, but they never really completely disappeared and their legacy continues to the present.
31 minutes | 7 months ago
Episode 158: Hucksters’ Paradise: Mobile Food in Urban Charleston, Part 1
Mobile hucksters, predominantly of African descent, formed an important part of the local culinary market from the earliest days of Charleston by carrying food around the city in baskets and carts. To trace their enduring influence on local culture and commerce, we’ll wind our time machine back to the roots of the hucksters and chart their rise into Antebellum days.
19 minutes | 7 months ago
Episode 157: Dining and Drinking in Charleston Before the Food and Beverage Industry
While most of the food and beverage industry is currently shuttered, we can look to our past in search of forgotten service models that might offer fresh inspiration for future business. The variety of food retail options in early Charleston is so diverse that we’ll begin this culinary history with a starter course of bite-sized samples of the big picture.
30 minutes | 7 months ago
Episode 156: A Moderate Trot through the History of Street Speed
Pedestrians and draft animals moving at a “moderate trot” set the pace in Charleston’s streets for more than two centuries, until automobile drivers pushed local government for faster travel through the city’s narrow streets in the early 20th century. The story of street speed in Charleston forms an important part of the diverse legacy of our community’s shared roads.
31 minutes | 7 months ago
Episode 155: Hemp Cultivation in Early South Carolina
In South Carolina’s early years, the provincial and imperial governments offered cash bounties to encourage local planters the grow hemp on a commercial scale. The crop showed promise, but its brief success was soon overshadowed. Despite its failure to take root, the rise and fall of hemp forms one of the most interesting and least-remembered chapters in this state’s agricultural heritage.
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