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Herman Nootix in South Carolina

September 20, 2015

Herman: Here we are in charming Charleston, South Carolina. Let’s take a look and “sea” what we find.

South Carolina’s first English settlers landed here in Charleston or Charles Towne Landing, as it was called back in 1670. In its first 100 years, this place grew from a poor little village to a rich ritzy city. If you made a fortune from a plantation, you spent it on a big mansion in Charleston. The town is still rather elegant today, wouldn’t you say?

Out there in the distance, lies Patriots Point, a floating naval museum. There you can tour four huge dark vessels: a submarine, an aircraft carrier, a destroyer, and a nuclear-powered merchant ship. Most of these boats were designed for use in warfare, and they cost many millions to build. That’s the price America pays to defend its freedom. I’d take you on an on-board tour myself, but I get woozy just standing on the dock.

Recognize that island fortress? It’s Fort Sumter, where the Civil War began. When South Carolina left the union, they demanded that federal troops give up the fort. When the Union soldiers refused to leave, the war’s first shots were fired. The South took Fort Sumter, and the North spent two solid years trying to get it back, firing 7 million pounds of ammunition in the process. You can’t tell it from here, but the place is quite dented up.

This lovely park at the peninsula’s tip is White Point Gardens. Most folks call it the Battery, out of the battery of cannons that line the water’s edge. From those very cannons, the Civil War’s first shots were fired across the water at Fort Sumter. It’s a much quieter place now, and I, for one, prefer it that way.

Colonel Charles Alston, a wealthy rice planter, once lived in this grand Antebellum mansion. In case your Latin is rusty, Antebellum means before the war, meaning this mansion was built before the Civil War. From the columns in front, there’s a grand view of Charleston Harbor, which has a long and memorable history. In those very waters, Blackbeard the Pirate once dropped anchor.

Goodbye then. It’s been a pleasure.

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