Walter Edgar's Journal From books to barbecue, from current events to colonial history, Walter Edgar's Journal delves into the arts, culture, history of South Carolina and The South.
Walter Edgar's Journal

Walter Edgar's Journal

From South Carolina Public Radio

From books to barbecue, from current events to colonial history, Walter Edgar's Journal delves into the arts, culture, history of South Carolina and The South.

Most Recent Episodes

Walter Edgar's Journal: Finding the 1768 Charleston lighthouse in the fog of history

The 1768 Charleston lighthouse( Courtesy of Kevin Duffus) This week, we'll be talking with author Kevin Duffus about his book, The 1768 Charleston Lighthouse : Finding the Light in the Fog of History. Charleston's first lighthouse was established on Middle Bay Island in 1768. The history of the lighthouse, however, has been lost in a fog of misinformation. Kevin Duffus conducted extensive research for his book and has been able to reconstruct the history of America's seventh – and tallest at the time – lighthouse. Kevin will tell us about the structure's distinctive architecture inspired by Charleston's St. Michael's Church, the ingenious Irishman who designed and built it, its variety of lighting systems, its involvement in three wars, and is tragic end.

Walter Edgar's Journal: Finding the 1768 Charleston lighthouse in the fog of history

The Garretts of Columbia: A Black South Carolina family, from slavery to the dawn of integration

Casper George Garrett and Anna Marie Garrett, who are known in the book as Papa and Mama, are seen with four of their children, circa 1897. (Courtesy David Nicholson) In his book, The Garretts of Columbia: A Black South Carolina Family from Slavery to the Dawn of Integration, David Nicholson tells the story of his great-grandparents, Casper George Garrett and his wife, Anna Maria, and their family. A multigenerational story of hope and resilience, The Garretts of Columbia is an American history of Black struggle, sacrifice, and achievement - a family history as American history, rich with pivotal events viewed through the lens of the Garretts's lives.

The Garretts of Columbia: A Black South Carolina family, from slavery to the dawn of integration

Walter Edgar's Journal: Tea and the American Revolution, 1773–1776

Boston Tea Party, State House Mural, Boston, Mass.(Detroit Publishing Company postcards / NY Public Library) On the Journal this week we will be talking with Robert James Fichter about his book, Tea: Consumption, Politics, and Revolution, 1773–1776. Fitcher says that despite the so-called Boston Tea Party in 1773, two large shipments of tea from the East India Company survived and were ultimately drunk in North America. Their survival shaped the politics of the years ahead, impeded efforts to reimburse the company for the tea lost in Boston Harbor, and hinted at the enduring potency of consumerism in revolutionary politics.

Walter Edgar's Journal: Injustice in focus - The Civil Rights photography of Cecil Williams

This week we talk with Claudia Smith Brinson about her new book, Injustice in Focus: The Civil Rights Photography of Cecil Williams (2023, USC Press). Claudia's rich research, interviews, and prose, offer a firsthand account of South Carolina's fight for civil rights and tells the story of Cecil Williams's life behind the camera. The book also features eighty of William's photographs. Cecil Williams is one of the few Southern Black photojournalists of the civil rights movement. Born and raised in Orangeburg, South Carolina, Williams worked at the center of emerging twentieth-century civil rights activism in the state, and his assignments often exposed him to violence perpetrated by White law officials and ordinary citizens. Williams's story is the story of the civil rights era.

Walter Edgar's Journal: Injustice in focus - The Civil Rights photography of Cecil Williams

Walter Edgar's Journal: La Florida - Catholics, Conquistadores, and Other American Origin Stories

A statue of Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, the founder of St. Augustine, stands outside the Lightner Museum.

Walter Edgar's Journal: La Florida - Catholics, Conquistadores, and Other American Origin Stories

Walter Edgar's Journal: George Singleton - Asides: Occasional Essays

George Singleton This week we have a fun conversation with author George Singleton about his new book Asides: Occasional Essays on Dogs, Food, Restaurants, Bars, Hangovers, Jobs, Music, Family Trees, Robbery, Relationships, Being Brought Up Questionably, Et Cetera. It's a collection of fascinating and curious essays, in which Singleton explains how he came to be a writer (he blames barbecue), why he still writes his first draft by hand (someone stole his typewriter), and what motivated him to run marathons (his father gave him beer). In eccentric world-according-to-George fashion, Laugh-In's Henry Gibson is to blame for Singleton's literary education, and Aristotle would've been a failed philosopher had he grown up in South Carolina.

Walter Edgar's Journal: Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim - 275 years as a community of faith

Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim synagogue( www.kkbe.org) Founded in 1749, Charleston, South Carolina's (KKBE) is one of the oldest congregations in America, and is known as the birthplace of American Reform Judaism. Their sanctuary is the oldest in continuous use for Jewish worship in America. The congregation's president, Naomi Gorstein, and Harlan Greene, historian, join us to trace the history of Jewish life in Charleston, which goes right back to the founding of the city. We'll also talk about the evolution of the KKBE congregation and their plans to celebrate the 275th anniversary of its founding in 2024.

Walter Edgar's Journal: Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim - 275 years as a community of faith

Methodists & moonshiners: Another Prohibition expedition through the South

"Law enforcement officers stand beside a captured moonshine still"(National Park Service) This week we'll be talking with Kathryn Smith, author of Methodists & Moonshiners: Another Prohibition Expedition Through the South...with Cocktail Recipes (2023, Evening Post Books). In her follow-up to 2021's Baptists and Bootleggers, Kathryn once again hit the road - this time following George Washington 1791 trail through the South to Augusta. She digs into the history of the towns along the way, especially during Prohibition. We'll also talk about some of that history, and about Washington's Mount Vernon distillery - one of the country's biggest - which he operated after his presidency. Kathryn will also share some of the colorful stories and tasty cocktails that she discovered in her travels.

Methodists & moonshiners: Another Prohibition expedition through the South

"Our Country First, Then Greenville" - A New South City during the Progressive Era and World War I

Photo illustration from a postcard, Camp Sevier, Greenville, SC; World War I(Special Collections and University Archives, Furman University) Greenville, South Carolina, has become an attractive destination, frequently included in lists of the "Best Small Cities" in America. But, the city's growth and renewal started over 100 years ago, during a remarkable period of progress during which World War I acted as a powerful catalyst. In her book, "Our Country First, Then Greenville" - A New South City during the Progressive Era and World War I (2023, USC Press) Courtney Tollison Hartness explores Greenville's home-front experience of race relations, dramatic population growth (the number of Greenville residents nearly tripled between 1900 and 1930s), the women's suffrage movement, and the contributions of African Americans and women to Greenville's history. In this episode of the Journal, we'll talk with Courtney about how Greenville's experience during this progressive period served to generate massive development in the city and the region. It was this moment that catalyzed Greenville's development into a modern city, setting the stage for the continued growth that persists into the present-day.

"Our Country First, Then Greenville" - A New South City during the Progressive Era and World War I

Charleston Horse Power: Equine Culture in the Palmetto City

Mules on Church Street, Charleston, SC( Library of Congress) This episode we'll be talking with Christina Rae Butler about Charleston, SC: an equine-powered city - from colonial times to the 20th century - in which horses and mules pervaded all aspects of urban life. And we'll learn about the people who made their living with these animals—from drivers, grooms, and carriage makers, to farriers, veterinarians, and trainers. Christine is the author of Charleston Horse Power - Equine Culture in the Palmetto City (2023, USC Press). She spoke with us before an audience at All Good Books, in Five Points, Columbia, SC. As well as being a professor of Historic Preservation at the American College of Building Arts in Charleston, Christina is an adjunct faculty member at the College of Charleston in the Historic Preservation and Community Planning Program. She is also the owner/operator of Butler Preservation LLC, and she works as a barn shift manager for Palmetto Carriage Works in Charleston.