Going to see old Strom

Columbia Travel Blog

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The capitol in Columbia

Columbia was not the original capital of South Carolina - it used to be Charleston. But the people who lived in the mountains to the west of the state did not like the rich plantation owners in Charleston dominating the politics of the state all by themselves. Hence they would like the capital closer to their more populous part of the state. As a compromise they choose the insignificant little city of Columbia which was more or less equal distance from the two parts of the state.

 

During time Columbia grew bigger but it did not survive Sherman’s troops. Apparently Sherman did not give the order to burn the city himself - his troops just did not have anything better to do one afternoon.

The Confederate battle flag on the lawn in front of the capitol
Hence there are not many old houses left in Columbia. The only exception is a couple of beautiful old houses which actually housed some of Sherman’s troops during the war - hence they were spared from being burned.

 

Well the two houses are nice though but no really worth to go to Columbia for unless you need to go that way anyways.

 

The capitol in Columbia is pretty interesting though. Around the building are some unusual sights. Like where else will you find the favorite son of South Carolina - Strom Thurmond with a huge statue just next to the capitol. He used to be a democrat in the old days but later changed to be a republican and he ran for president in 1948 later he became first a governor and then served as a senator until 2003.

Strom Thurmond - the main man of the state
Strom hold more or less every record there is for a senator of the USA. He was the longest serving senator ever when he retired as the first ever 100 year old senator. He also got the record as the only senator ever to have won an election without being on the ballot but getting enough people to write his name on the ballot to win anyway. One less flattering record he holds is the longest speech ever in the senate (24 hours 18 minutes) in an attempt to stop legislation promoting civil rights in the south.

 

On the other side of the capitol is another sign that old habits die hard in this part of the world. On the lawn there is a flag - not an ordinary flag but a confederate battle flag. It used to be on top of the capitol but as a compromise it was moved away from the top of the capitol and down on the lawn. Not many blacks found this a suitable compromise but the flag is still standing for more than 50 years.

 

But one sign that things are changing a bit is on another side of the capitol. A memorial for the blacks coming to South Carolina from different parts of Africa. This monument is not that old - only from 2001 but maybe it does mean something in the end.

tiffharg says:
I enjoyed your blogs... you have seen stuff in my country that I have never seen and may never see! That is cool. Hopefully some day I can do the tour of my countries history!! Thank for the blogs and the pictures!
Posted on: Oct 26, 2008
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The capitol in Columbia
The capitol in Columbia
The Confederate battle flag on the…
The Confederate battle flag on th…
Strom Thurmond - the main man of t…
Strom Thurmond - the main man of …
Church in Columbia
Church in Columbia
Monument in front of the capitol
Monument in front of the capitol
The capitol in Columbia
The capitol in Columbia
Backside of the capitol
Backside of the capitol
The slave memorial - from 2001
The slave memorial - from 2001
Robert Mills house
Robert Mills house
Hampton Preston house
Hampton Preston house
Robert Mills house
Robert Mills house
Robert Mills house
Robert Mills house
Columbia
photo by: Andy99