Sunday, Jan. 14, 2007
patriots with Carolina Day state holiday
12, 2007 -- Our proposal of the day would give state employees,
and maybe even other workers in the state, the choice of being
Civil or Revolutionary.
When millions of tourists visit South Carolina every year,
they hear a lot about the Civil War. They know about the first
shots fired on Fort Sumter in 1861. They learn about the Hunley
submarine. They hear all sorts of stories in carriage rides.
But what most visitors to the state don't realize is that
if South Carolinians didn't play such an important role in
the Revolutionary War, there might not be a Civil War even
to discuss. Consider the following:
In June 1776 on Sullivan's Island, patriots won the first
major American battle of the Revolutionary War by turning
back a flotilla of more than 20 British ships that wanted
to take Charleston, the second-richest city of the colonial
era. More than 2,900 Redcoats faced a colonial force of
about a fourth its size. But due to British mistakes and
colonial tenacity, the patriots carried the day, June 28.
When news reached Philadelphia, colonial leaders may have
found a little extra courage in signing a truly revolutionary
document, the Declaration of Independence.
Battle of Sullivan's Island
(Image courtesy S.C. Historical Society)
- The president of the Continental Congress was Henry Laurens
of South Carolina. During the war, Laurens was captured
at sea by the British and sent to the Tower of London. There,
he helped arrange important financing from the French and
others to keep the patriot cause alive.
- There were more battles and skirmishes in South Carolina
than any other state. According to history books, about
a third of all encounters were in South Carolina. Had state
heroes like Francis Marion not stretched out British supply
lines over the eight years of the war, the British likely
would have been able to dampen a Northern-only insurrection.
- In May 1780, patriots suffered a terrible defeat when
the British captured Charleston after a siege. Some 3,000
colonial troops surrendered to the British - - the largest
American surrender until the Battle of Bataan in World War
II, according to historians.
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This list can go on and on. The point is that South
Carolina's participation in the colonial cause was vital.
If Montgomery, Alabama is the "cradle of the Confederacy,"
Charleston surely is the "womb of the Revolution."
But South Carolina's ardor and passion during the Revolution
is little recognized today. Undoubtedly, part of the reason
is that "Yankee" historians after the Civil War
conveniently forgot about many of the contributions of Southerners
during the founding of the nation.
It's time for South Carolinians to remember formally. In
years past, Palmetto Day was recognized informally in June
to remember the 1776 victory at Sullivan's Island.
"There is not a single state holiday that commemorates
anything that is solely ours," noted USC historian Walter
Edgar wrote last year. "Somehow there is a public sense
that we Carolinians haven't our own events worthy of a state
holiday - - when the opposite is clearly true."
State employees currently get 12 holidays: New Year's Day,
Martin Luther King Day, President's Day, Confederate Memorial
Day, National Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veterans
Day, and two holidays each at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
A few years back, employees got Election Day and an optional
holiday that they could take. A compromise in taking the Confederate
flag off the Statehouse dome led to getting rid of those holidays
and replacing them with King Day and Confederate Memorial
With South Carolina now being home to many people from "off,"
some may not take too kindly to celebrating a Confederate
So let's give them a choice. Perhaps state lawmakers should
keep King Day, but go back to one optional holiday. Then let
employees pick to honor our revolutionary past by celebrating
"Carolina Day" on June 28 or to honor our Confederate
past by taking off Confederate Memorial Day on May 10.
It wouldn't really cost anything, but it would honor true
patriots like Marion, Laurens, Pinckney, Rutledge, Moultrie,
Jasper, Sumter and Pickens. And it would give us a holiday
of our own.
Send your comments to Andy Brack at email@example.com.
His book of commentary, Bugging
the Palmettos, is available for
here for more.
everything made in China
Another great cartoon from Bill McLemore:
1/9: Better health care needed
To the editor:
I didn't see any thing about state lawmakers bringing health
insurance companies into 21st century in South Carolina. And
make them cover Medical and Prescription Costs a LOT BETTER
THAN THEY DO!
-- R.L. Hagerty, Florence, S.C.
Fund bullying prevention
To the editor:
The New Year marks the effective date of the new statewide
mandate requiring schools to establish policies, procedures
and programs to prevent bullying.
Research shows that simply creating policies won't work. Please
take a look at www.StopBullyingNow.org
and click on "What Adults Can Do." It takes a systematic
approach which includes involving students in the prevention
Will there be an effort to put some money behind this mandate
to provide adequate staff, and purchase of training and materials?
One can figure a cost of about $2,000 per school in order
to implement a "evidence-based" program called for
in the legislation.
Besides reducing the incidence of bullying, effective programs
have been proven to raise academic achievement. So it is a
win-win, and can help to save the next generation from a violent
If we are serious about reducing violence in our schools,
the legislature must fund this mandate they are imposing on
-- Dwight Fee, Murrells Inlet, S.C.
- 12/28: Read
cheap drinks bill again, Speaker Pro Tem Doug Smith,
- 12/26: Need
to work on education reform, Jim Kappler, Anderson,
- 12/24: Holding
breath on legislative season, Chip Brown, Conway,
- 12/22: Voting
changes needed, Anne Demuth, Charleston, S.C.
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