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Facts About South Carolina History: 7 Things You Might Not Know

Image: Facts About South Carolina History: 7 Things You Might Not Know
North Carolina state quarter isolated on white background. (Pancaketom/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Friday, 10 Apr 2015 12:54 PM

South Carolina was one of the 13 original colonies of the United States and is historically known for its cotton and tobacco production. But there are many more interesting facts about South Carolina.

Here are seven facts about South Carolina history that you might not know:

1. Shag dancing, which became the official South Carolina state dance in 1984, is thought to have originated at an African American nightclub in Myrtle Beach. Shag is a descendent of the Jitterbug in the dance family tree. Before World War II, the Shag was danced to what was then called "race" music and is now known as rhythm and blues, according to South Carolina's Information Highway.

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2. Plan on doing your partying Monday through Saturday; it is illegal for dance halls to operate on Sundays in South Carolina. The fine for such frivolity is $50 for the first offense and $100 and 30 days in jail for the second time you are caught.

3. Sumter, South Carolina is home to the world's largest ginkgo biloba farm. Ginkgo biloba is a unique species of large tree from southeast China harvested mainly for boosting memory. Near Sumter you will find 12 million ginkgo trees growing over 12,000 acres at the Garnay Inc. plantation

4.
The state snack food of South Carolina is boiled peanuts. South Carolinians began boiling peanuts in the 1800s, and they were designated as the official state snack in 2006. It is believed that soldiers during times of war boiled them over campfires for high-protein food. They discovered that these peanuts would not spoil for several days.

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5. South Carolina is known as the Palmetto State, but the tree wasn't added to the state flag until 1861. The addition of the palmetto was a tribute to Colonel William Moultrie's 1776 defense of a palmetto-log fort against a British attack. The crescent is a reproduction of a silver emblem worn on the caps of flag designer Moultrie's Revolutionary War soldiers.

6. The first opera performed in the United States debuted in a Charleston courtroom in 1735. The opera performed was not South Carolina's official state opera, "Porgy and Bess," but the comic ballad opera "Flora."

7. Tap dancer Clayton "Peg Leg" Bates was born in rural Fountain Inn, South Carolina. Bates lost his leg in a cotton mill accident when he was 12 but still went on to become a well-known dancer, appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show 21 times. His signature move was known as the "Imitation American Jet Plane" and involved his jumping in the air and landing on his peg leg.

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South Carolina was one of the 13 original colonies of the United States and is historically known for its cotton and tobacco production. But there are many more interesting facts about South Carolina.
facts about south carolina, history
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2015-54-10
Friday, 10 Apr 2015 12:54 PM
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