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 »

Until 1993 Blenheim Bottling Company avoided any attempts at modernization. Each bottle was taken off the production line and hand-shaken to mix the granulated sugar into the ale. That laborious process ended when Alan Schafer, proprietor of the South of the Border entertainment complex located just south of the North Carolina state line, bought out the bottler and built a modern plant. The spicy ale has developed a cult following among food and wine aficionados. Read the Entry »

Charleston served as the Confederacy’s main port from November 1861 to July 1863. During this time some thirty-six steam-powered blockade-runners made 125 trips in and out of Charleston, carrying out nearly 30,000 bales of cotton. The majority of the ships operated out of Nassau, although some came from Havana and Bermuda. Primarily private companies used Charleston, while Wilmington, North Carolina, was home to the government’s blockade-runners. Read the Entry »

The state is famed for Winnsboro blue granite, which was quarried for many years in Fairfield County. The stone is of light blue color and contains particles of mica, feldspar, and quartz. It is much prized in construction and decoration. Read the Entry »

There are commonly two understandings of the Blue Ridge. The first is the geologic Blue Ridge, which is found only in Oconee County, bounded on the west by the Chattooga River and on the east by the Brevard Fault. The second is the geographic Blue Ridge, which includes both the Blue Ridge Mountains and inner Piedmont mountains such as Sassafras, Pinnacle, and Table Rock. Read the Entry »

Primarily supported by Charleston merchants and built by Irish and German immigrants and local slaves, the Blue Ridge Railroad was intended to return the port city to commercial prominence in the region. Funding was problematic, however, with investors outside of Charleston displaying little interest in the project. Only a massive infusion of state funds in the mid-1850s kept the Blue Ridge Railroad alive, but it was not enough to complete the line. Read the Entry »

The grandson of former chief Samuel Taylor Blue, Gilbert Blue was elected chief of the Catawba Tribe of South Carolina in 1973. Under Chief Blue’s leadership, the Catawba successfully pursued their lawsuit against the state of South Carolina for land claims under the Nations Ford Treaty of 1840 and their quest for the reinstatement of status as a federally recognized Indian tribe. Read the Entry »

Chief Samuel Blue was the driving force behind the political revival of the Catawba tribe. It was during his second administration that the Catawba finally became a federally recognized tribe and recovered parts of their original reservation. 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 »

Located on the twenty-foot-high bluffs of the May River and facing the cool, southerly winds, it was an ideal summer refuge for planter families. The town, known first simply as May River and then later as Kirk’s Bluff, was officially named Bluffton in 1844. The development of Hilton Head as a major tourist destination in the early 1970s marked a revitalization of Bluffton. Annexations and the spread of Hilton Head’s resort and tourism economy led to a seventy-five percent increase in Bluffton’s population during the 1990s. Read the Entry »