Firsts in South Carolina

My orientation to the Palmetto State includes factoids such as these “Firsts in South Carolina.” I quite likely pirated these from Wikipedia:

  • First town to use electricity; – Anderson, The Electric City
  • First European settlement in South Carolina in 1526 near Georgetown settled by Spanish explorer Lucas Vasquez de Ayllon named San Miguel de Gualdape
  • First permanent English settlement in South Carolina established at Albemarle Point in Charleston in 1670
  • First indigo planted, 1671 by Moses Lindo, a Portuguese Jew fleeing the Inquisition
  • First free library established — Charleston, 1698
  • First mutual fire insurance company — Friendly Society for the Mutual Insurance of Houses against Fire, 1735
  • First opera performed in America — Charleston, February 18, 1735
  • First building to be used solely as a theatre — Dock Street Theatre in Charleston, constructed in 1736
  • First slave insurrection — Stono area near Charleston, 1739
  • First Jewish synagogue in South Carolina (Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim) – Charleston, 1750
  • First cotton exported to England, 1764
  • First Black Baptist Church established, Silver Bluff, 1773
  • The Charleston Chamber of Commerce was the first city Chamber of Commerce in this country – 1773
  • First public museum — Charleston Museum, organized January 12, 1773
  • First business publication — South Carolina Price Current in Charleston, 1774
  • First time a Jew was elected to public office in America, 1774. Francis Salvador was elected to the General Assembly[84]
  • The first time a British flag was taken down and replaced by an American flag was in Charleston in 1775
  • First independent government formed among American colonies, March 1776
  • Golf was first played in the city limits of Charleston. The South Carolina Golf Club was formed in 1786 – this was the first golf club.
  • First Roman Catholic Church – St. Mary’s August 24, 1789, Charleston
  • First cotton mill built — James Island, 1789
  • First tea planted — Middleton Barony, 1802
  • First Roman Catholic Bishop of Charleston, Most Rev. John England – 1820, Charleston
  • First fireproof building built — Charleston, 1822
  • First steam locomotive built in the United States to be used for regular railroad service – “Best Friend of Charleston,” 1830.
  • First municipal college — College of Charleston, opened April 1, 1838
  • First Roman Catholic cathedral in South Carolina Cathedral of Saint John and Saint Finbar – Charleston, April 1845
  • First state to secede from the Union, December 20, 1860.
  • First shot fired in Civil War on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, April 12, 1861.
  • First Medal of Honor awarded to a Black recipient — W. H. Carney (Army), July 18, 1863.
  • The first submarine ever to sink an enemy ship was the H.L. Hunley used by the Confederates on February 17, 1864 in Charleston Harbor against the U.S.S. Housatonic.
  • First Black Associate Justice of a state supreme court — J. J. Wright, February 2, 1870
  • The first state intercollegiate football game took place on December 14, 1889 with Wofford defeating Furman
  • First commercial tea farm — Summerville, 1890
  • First black woman to practice medicine in the state was Dr. Matilda Arabelle Evans in 1897
  • First textile school established in a college — Clemson, 1899
  • The first car was manufactured in Rock Hill by John Gary Anderson in January 1916
  • First woman lawyer in South Carolina — Miss James M. Perry of Greenville was admitted to practice on May 4, 1918
  • First national historic preservation ordinance passed by Charleston city council on October 13, 1931
  • First television station WCSC broadcast from Charleston June 13, 1953
  • First U.S. Senator elected by a write-in vote — Strom Thurmond, November 2, 1954
  • First state to have a Nuclear Bomb dropped By the US Air Force — Due East of Florence — Nuclear part was unarmed- 1958
  • First nuclear power plant dedicated at Parr Shoals on October 24, 1963
  • First Spoleto Festival held in Charleston May 1977
  • First black federal judge in South Carolina’s history — Matthew J. Perry — appointed September 22, 1979
  • First governor Richard Riley elected November 6, 1984 to serve two consecutive four-year terms
  • Jean Toal — the first woman elected to state supreme court in 1988 and later elected chief justice in 2000
  • First SC female governor and first governor of Indian heritage elected on November 2, 2010 – Nikki Haley

— Tim Bryant
Author of Blue Rubber Pool
Surf Director at Pineapple Hill

 

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