Going to see old Strom
Columbia Travel Blog› entry 10 of 26 › view all entries
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.
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.
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.