Walter Edgar

Host

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his A.B. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens. In 1972 he joined the faculty of the History Department and in 1980 was named director of the Institute for Southern Studies. Dr. Edgar is the Claude Henry Neuffer Professor of Southern Studies and the George Washington Distinguished Professor of History. He retired from USC in 2012. He has written or edited numerous books about South Carolina and the American South, including South Carolina: A History, the first new history of the state in more than 60 years. With more than 37,000 copies in print and an audio edition, it has been a publishing phenomenon. Partisans & Redcoats: The Southern Conflict that Turned the Tide of the American Revolution is in its fourth printing. He is also the editor of the South Carolina Encyclopedia.

Ways to Connect

"F" is for Freed, Arthur [1894-1973] Film producer, songwriter. The son of Hungarian immigrants, Freed was born in Charleston, but traveled extensively with his father—an art dealer. During World War I, as an army sergeant, he composed songs and put on shows to entertain servicemen. After the war he and Nacio Herb Brown purchased the Orange Grove Theater in Los Angeles where they produced musical shows. In 1929 the pair was invited to compose songs for MGM’s “Broadway Melody” which won the Oscar for best picture.

 "E" is for Erskine College. In 1836 the General Synod of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church organized an academy in Due West. A professor of divinity was added the next year and the institution was incorporated as Clark and Erskine Seminary. With more faculty added in 1839, it became the first four-year denominational college in the state. About 1843 the name was shortened to Erskine College and the theological seminary became an adjunct of the college. The school took its name from the 18th century Scottish theologian and reformer, Ebenezer Erskine.

"D" is for Donaldson Air Base. Early in World War II, the US Army Air Corps leased more than two thousand acres of land from the city and county of Greenville to construct what was then known as the Greenville Army Air Base, with barracks, hangers, and related buildings to train B-25 crews. The base was deactivated at the end of the war, but in 1946 was reconstituted as the headquarters of the nation’s Troop Carrier Command [later called the Military Air Transport Command]. Its planes played roles in the 1948 Berlin Airlift and during the crisis in the Belgian Congo a decade later.

"C" is for Chapin, Sarah Flournoy Moore [ca. 1830-1896]. Temperance leader; social reformer. Known as Sallie F. Chapin, she became one of South Carolina’s most visible 19th century women leaders. During the Civil War, she served as president of the Soldier’s Relief Society and after the war as leader of the Ladies Christian Association. In 1880 she organized the first local chapter of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union in South Carolina in Charleston.

Greenville Chautauqua illustration: Rachel Carson, Cesar Chavez, Maya Angelou, Abraham Lincoln
Greenville Chautauqua

Before radio and television, traveling cultural tent shows toured across America. The original Chautauqua was a road show of music, entertainment, and always a great speaker of the day. At their peak, Tent Chautauquas appeared in over 10,000 communities and preformed for more than 45 million people.

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