Friday, August 14, 2015

History of Clarendon County SC: The 1900's

The following are key historical events that took place in and around Clarendon County, South Carolina, in the 1900's:
  • In 1902, electricity came to the town of Manning. This was followed in 1911 by the introduction of telephone service and the first sewage system.
  • On March 18, 1902, the Alcolu Railroad was incorporated. It was primarily used for hauling logs from the forest, to the Alcolu mill, and then on to the Atlantic Coast Line for shipping to other parts of the country.
  • In 1915, a tornado swept though Manning destroying or damaging numerous stores in the downtown district.
  • In 1906, D.W. Alderman founded the Paroda Railroad that operated in the four counties of Clarendon, Williamsburg, Florence, and Sumter.
  • In 1919, the "Alderman's Twenty Stores in One" opened in Manning. It was one of the largest department stores in the state. It also contained the first elevator in the county.
  • With the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1920, women across America finally obtained the right to vote in elections. The amendment was the culmination of the women's suffrage movement in the U.S., which fought for decades, at both state and national levels, to achieve the right to vote. Several decades passed before South Carolina finally ratified the Amendment.
  • In 1939, the Bank of Clarendon was officially chartered by the state of South Carolina. Prior to this, during the 'Great Depression', it was known as the Clarendon Cash Depository.
  • In November 1941, Lake Marion was created by the construction of the Santee Dam. The dam was built across the Santee River to supply hydroelectric power, as part of the rural electrification efforts initiated under President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal during the Great Depression.
  • Lake Marion and the Santee Dam were part of the Santee Cooper Hydroelectric and Navigation Project. This project also included the construction of the Pinopolis Dam (also known as the Cooper River Dam) which created Lake Moultrie, just downstream. It also consisted of a diversion canal seven and a half miles long that connected the two lakes.
  • Two historic trials held in Clarendon county, Levi Pearson v. Clarendon County Board of Education (1947) and Briggs v Elliot (1952), paved the way for the famous Brown v. Board of Education court case. It  was found that 'separate but equal schools' based on race were unconstitutional in the U.S.
  • In 1956, Althea Gibson, a native of Clarendon county, became the first black person to win a Tennis Grand Slam title (French Open). The following year she won both Wimbledon and the U.S. Nationals (U.S. Open), then won both again in 1958, and was voted Female Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press in both years. In all she won 11 Grand Slam tournaments, including six doubles titles, and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the International Women's Sports Hall of Fame.
  • In 1957, the title of Miss America 1957 was won by Marion McKnight from Clarendon county.
  • As early as 1960, Manning became known as one of many towns across the South for staging peaceful Civil Rights demonstrations and sit-ins. Unlike some other areas, the demonstrations in Manning occurred without significant incident.
  • In 1964, the Civil Rights Act was passed by Congress officially ending racial segregation across the U.S.
  • In 1969, Pansy Ridgeway became the first woman to be elected mayor of Manning. She served as mayor of Manning from 1970–1996. She was the third woman elected mayor in South Carolina and the first woman elected president of the South Carolina Municipal Association.
  • In 1973, the Clarendon County Area Vocational Center was built. In 1981, its name was changed to the F.E. DuBose Career Center.  In 2003, the facility was renovated and substantially expanded and was officially renamed the F.E. DuBose Manning Campus of Central Carolina Technical College. 
  • In 1979, the annual weeklong Annual Striped Bass Festival was started in Clarendon county. The county is home to the first population of landlocked striped bass in the U.S.
  • In 1989, Hurricane Hugo hit South Carolina wreaked tremendous havoc across the state and caused 27 fatalities.
  • In 1994, a new state prison, the Turbeville Correctional Institute, was built housing over 1,300 male inmates.
  • In 1995, two churches were destroyed by Ku Klux Klan arsonists. A civil lawsuit was subsequently filed against the Ku Klux Klan. The church won a record $37.8 million judgment in July 1998, effectively shutting down the Klan's activities in Clarendon county for good.

For more detail about the county, make sure you visit the HistoricClarendon County web site.

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