On passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which stipulated that businesses engaged in interstate commerce must desegregate Bessinger, who at that time owned four Piggie Park restaurants, refused a black minister who attempted to enter one of his restaurants. The case—Newman v. Piggie Park Enterprises—went to the U.S. Supreme Court. Read the Entry »

The locomotive had its formal debut on Christmas Day 1830, pulling passenger cars from Charleston to Dorchester. Its performance exceeded expectations, with one observer writing that passengers “flew on the wings of the wind at the speed of fifteen to twenty miles per hour, annihilating time and space.” Read the Entry »

An expert fundraiser and eloquent speaker among the wealthy northerners who visited Daytona Beach, Bethune developed her small school into a major institution. Read the Entry »

While there was an emphasis on teacher education, the school’s primary focus was on industrial training. At a time when the state neglected the education of its black citizens, Bettis Academy offered educational opportunities when few professions were open to blacks. Read the Entry »

The Big Apple dance was popularized nationally when it was taken to Manhattan by University of South Carolina students. A combination of the square dance and various jazz routines of the 1920s, the Big Apple caught the attention of white college students who, encouraged by nightclub owner Fat Sam, paid 10¢ to watch dancers from the nightclub balcony. Read the Entry »

Black business districts appeared in South Carolina and other southern states after the public segregation of the races became legal in the 1890s. New laws forced many businesses either to provide separate facilities for black customers or to deny service to African American patrons altogether. Black entrepreneurs stepped in to establish operations in which African Americans could be served with courtesy and dignity. Read the Entry »

The three main laws—with their extensive articles—that comprised South Carolina’s Black Codes addressed three general areas: new rights following abolition, new restrictions following abolition, and more specific decrees directed toward the labor issue. After four years of war, Republicans in Congress were not ready to accept a social, economic, and political return to the antebellum years. With the convening of Congress in December 1865, Republicans set out first to overturn the Black Codes; then to sweep away President Andrew Johnson, the South’s last defender; and finally to establish a new social, economic, and political order in the South. Read the Entry »

Prior to the Civil War, Blackville prospered as a cotton reception point, which stimulated the development of a bustling mercantile community. The final decades of the twentieth century found Blackville struggling to maintain its position of economic importance within Barnwell County. In 1979 more than one-fifth of Blackville families lived below the poverty line, and the removal of the town’s railroad line in the late 1980s further added to difficulties. Read the Entry »

As governor, Blease emphasized individual freedom for whites and racism. He opposed government regulation, even if its purpose was to benefit the same mill workers to whom he appealed. He denounced an act to limit working hours for mill employees, believing it interfered with parents’ control over their children. He vetoed legislation to inspect factories for safety and health considerations, stating that a man ought to be able to work under any conditions he chose. He opposed compulsory education as an attempt to replace parents with “the paid agents of the State in the control of children,” and he vetoed four compulsory attendance bills while governor. Read the Entry »

In South Carolina, the hotbed was the Greenville-Spartanburg area, where a coterie of talented guitarists contributed to a style that became known as the “Piedmont” or East Coast school of blues. Read the Entry »