The War Between the States
On December 20, 1860, the South Carolina legislature was the first state to vote for secession from the Union. They asserted that one of the causes was the election to the presidency of a man "whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery."
On January 9, 1861, Citadel cadets fired the first shots of the American Civil War when they opened fire on a Union ship entering Charleston's harbor. On April 12, 1861, shore batteries under the command of General Pierre G. T. Beauregard opened fire on the Union-held Fort Sumter in the harbor. After a 34-hour bombardment, Major Robert Anderson surrendered the fort. Cadets from the Citadel, South Carolina's liberal arts military college, continued to aid the Confederate army by helping drill recruits, manufacture ammunition, protect arms depots, and guard Union prisoners. The city under siege took control of Fort Sumter, became the center for blockade running, and was the site of the first submarine warfare in 1863. In 1865, Union troops moved into the city, and took control of many sites, such as the United States Arsenal which the Confederate army had seized at the outbreak of the war.
After the eventual and destructive defeat of the Confederacy, Federal forces remained in Charleston during the city's reconstruction. The war had shattered the prosperity of the antebellum city. Freed slaves were faced with poverty and discrimination. Industries slowly brought the city and its inhabitants back to a renewed vitality and growth in population. As the city's commerce improved, Charlestonians also worked to restore their community institutions. In 1867 Charleston's first free secondary school for blacks was established, the Avery Institute. General William T. Sherman lent his support to the conversion of the United States Arsenal into the Porter Military Academy, an educational facility for former soldiers and boys left orphaned or destitute by the war. Porter Military Academy later joined with Gaud School and is now a prestigious K-12 prep school, [Porter-Gaud School (http://www.portergaud.ed/)]. The William Enston Home, a planned community for the city's aged and infirm, was built in 1889. An elaborate public building, the United States Post Office and Courthouse, was completed in 1896 and signaled renewed life in the heart of the city.
A 125 mile-an-hour hurricane hit Charleston August 25, 1885, destroying or damaging 90 percent of the homes and causing an estimated $2 million in damages.
In 1886 Charleston was nearly destroyed by a major earthquake that was felt as far away as Boston and Bermuda. It damaged 2,000 buildings and caused $6 million worth of damage, while in the entire city the buildings were only valued at approximately $24 million.
However, though there have been many fires, hurricanes, tornados, several wars, and urban renewal in the 20th century, many of Charleston's historic buildings remain intact.
Charlestonians today fondly refer to their city as The Holy City, and describe it as the site where the "Ashley and Cooper Rivers merge to form the Atlantic Ocean."
America's most-published etiquette expert, Marjabelle Young Stewart, has recognized the city ever since 1995 as the "best-mannered" city in the U.S, a claim lent credence by the fact that it has the only Livability Court in the country.
Charleston is a tourist Mecca, with streets lined with grand live oaks draped with Spanish moss. Along the waterfront are many beautiful and historic pastel-colored homes. It's also a busy port, though the majority of the great container ships are now docking at the Wando Terminal in Mount Pleasant. The Wando River and the Cooper River meet at the Southern point of Daniel Island. A new Cooper River bridge is under construction and set to open in 2005. When completed, the new Arthur Ravenel bridge will be the largest cable-stayed bridge in North America.
Charleston annually hosts Spoleto Festival USA, as well as the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, the Family Circle Tennis Cup, and the Cooper River Bridge Run. Nature lovers may visit the South Carolina Aquarium, the Audubon Swamp Garden, or Cypress Gardens. History buffs can visit the Old Exchange Building, Fort Moultrie, Fort Sumter, or any of the several beautiful former slave plantations such as Boone Hall Plantation, Magnolia Plantation, and Middleton Place.
Hurricane Hugo hit Charleston in 1989, damaging three-quarters of the homes in Charleston's historic district. The hurricane caused over $2.8 billion in damage.
*Quoted From Wikipedia.com
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 96,650 people in the city, organized into 40,791 households and 22,149 families. The population density is 384.7/km2
). There are 44,563 housing units at an average density of 177.4/km2
). The racial makeup of the city is 63.08% White, 34.00% Black or African American, 1.24% Asian, 0.15% Native American, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.54% from other races, and 0.94% from two or more races. 1.51% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 40,791 households out of which 23.2% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.0% are married couples living together, 15.2% have a female householder with no husband present, and 45.7% are non-families. 33.7% of all households are made up of individuals and 10.1% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.23 and the average family size is 2.92.
In the city the population is spread out with 20.0% under the age of 18, 17.2% from 18 to 24, 28.8% from 25 to 44, 20.5% from 45 to 64, and 13.5% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 33 years. For every 100 females there are 89.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 87.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $35,295, and the median income for a family is $48,705. Males have a median income of $32,585 versus $26,688 for females. The per-capita income for the city is $22,414. 19.1% of the population and 13.3% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 24.3% of those under the age of 18 and 13.9% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
*Quoted From Wikipedia.com