CHRONOLOGICAL TIMELINE OF CHARLESTON'S HISTORY

The ruins of one of the nation's oldest plantations, Coming Tee, and its rice mill can be seen on our Day on the Cooper River Tour. (Photo credit: Charleston Raconteurs)
English evangelical reformer and a founder of Methodism George Whitfield, 1714-1770 (Photo credit: allchristianquotes.com)
A Patriot hero from the Siege of Savannah, Aaron Loocock's grave is featured on the Day on the Cooper River Tour. (Photo credit: Charleston Raconteurs)
The Swamp Angel was the most advanced weapon of its day. Learn more in Lost Charleston. (Photo credit: Library of Congress)
Many Charlestonians say that the city's biggest architectural loss was that of the Charleston Orphan House. Demolished for a Sears Department store, the site and its story are shared on our Lost Charleston Tour (Route 3)
A visit to the site of the former Timrod Hotel is included on our Lost Charleston Tour (Route 1) (Photo credit: Library of Congress)
The Commercial Club, seen in this postcard perspective from Washington Park, is one of the sites included on our Lost Charleston Tour (Route 1). (Photo credit: Roots and Recall)
The worst punishment at the Workhouse (aka Sugar House) was the treadmill. This site is included on our Lost Charleston Tour (Route 1). 
Though no authenticated images of Sir Francis Nicholson exist, some historians believe this is a portrait of South Carolina's first Royal Governor. You can learn more about America's "First Revolution" on our Day on the Cooper River Tour. (Photo credit: Wikimedia, public domain. Artist unknown.)
A visit to Patriot John Laurens' plantatino home and gravesite is included on our Day on the Cooper River Tour. (Portrait by Charles Willson Peele [1714-1827].
Some sources say that 2 to 4 million Native Americans were sold into slavery. Visit the historic campsite where many Lowcountry Natives spent their last night in their homeland and learn more about this dark chapter of our nation's history on our Day on the Cooper River Tour. (Photo credit: Wordpress.com)
The historic Planters Inn, now home of the second Dock Street Theatre, is one of the historic sites included on our Lost Charleston Tour (Route 2).
A visit to Henry Laurens' Mepkin Plantation is included on our Day on the Cooper River Tour. A visit to the historic site of his lavish Charleston townhome is included on the Lost Charleston Tour (Route 3). (Photo credit: National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC)
A visit to the Hebrew Orphanage is included on our Lost Charleston Tour (Route 1). (Photo credit: Library of Congress)
The story of the Rev. Daniel Jenkins and the Jenkins Orphanage Band is told on the Lost Charleston (Route 1) Tour. Learn how to dance The Charleston! (Photo credit: Library of Congress)
The history of the Mosquito Fleet is included on our Lost Charleston Tour (Route 2) (Photo credit: College of Charleston Library, Special Collections)
A discussion of slavery in Charleston is included on all of our tours, and a visit to the site of the old Work House is included on our Lost Charleston Tour (Route 1).
The historic western facade of the Bennett Rice Mill, all that remains standing after Hurricane Donna (1960) is included on our Lost Charleston Tour (Route 3). (Photo credit: Library of Congress)
The history of trolleys is covered on our Lost Charleston Tour (Route 1). (Photo credit: Library of Congress)
Frank Abagnale (second from right) renovated 66 Church Street, which is included in the Lost Charleston (Route 2) Tour and the Architectural and Cultural Overview of Charleston Tour.  (Photo credit: John Li/Getty Images)
Hear the harrowing first-person accounts of the McClellan-ville survivors of Hurricane Hugo on our French Santee Tour.
For years, Bevo Howard delighted Charleston crowds while flying upside down over Charleston Harbor to snatch a ribbon from a volunteer. Learn more about Bevo's legacy on our Lost Charleston Tour (Route 2). (Photo credit: Beverly "Bevo" Howard Collection of the EAA Aviation Museum, Oshkosh, WA)
The interior of the original Bowens Island featured broken chairs, television sets and an old jukebox. You can learn more about this local icon in Lost Charleston. (Photo credit: Cramer Gallimore)
Ruins of the historic Coming Tee Rice Mill can be seen on our Day on the Cooper River Tour. (Photo credit: A Weekend Tourist)

1649

Jan. 20 -- King Charles I of England went on trial, accused by Oliver Cromwell and the Puritan forces who emerged victorious from this mid-17th century civil war of high treason. His subsequent conviction and execution was one of the key factors in what eventually would become the first permanent English settlement of Charles Town some 30 years later.

Jan. 30 -- Charles I is beheaded as Oliver Cromwell and his Puritan Party assume rule over England.

1662

Jan. 30 -- On the 12th anniversary of his father's execution, Charles II, recently restored to the British throne, disinterrs the body of Oliver Cromwell and cuts off what's left of Cromwell's head.

1681

Nov. 23 -- Lord Proprietor Anthony Ashley Cooper was tried, and found guilty, of treason in Britain.

1694

Aug. 20 -- In his will written on this date, Capt. John Coming leaves his entire estate to his widow, Affra Harleston Coming.

1695

Aug. 17 -- John Archdale, a Quaker, was appointed Governor of the Carolina colony.

1698

Feb. 24 -- A fire broke out and spread quickly thoughout the town over the next two days, leaving more than 50 families homeless.

Dec. 10 -- Affra Harleston Coming deeds 17 acres of land south of George Street to St. Philips Church. It is known as the Glebe Lands, or lands belonging to the church.

Dec. 28 -- Affra Harleston Coming divides the remainder of her estate between her nephew, John Harleston, and her husband's half-nephew, Elias Ball.

1707

Nov. 24 -- Land between the Combahee and Savannah rivers was set aside for the Native American Yemassee tribe.

1711

Mar. 1 -- Because the congregation of St. Philip's Anglican Church was outgrowing its building at the corner of Broad and Meeting streets, the colonial Assembly passed an "Act for Erecting a New Brick Church" on the east side of Church Street, just above Queen Street.

1715

Apr. 15 -- In response to growing slave trade of Native Americans with the West Indies, the Yemasees, Creeks, Catawbas and Choctaw tribes aligned to attack a number of frontier settlements about 80 miles southwest of Charles Town on Good Friday. They slew about 100 people. One of them, trader Thomas Nairne, was roasted to death.

1718

Oct. 28 -- Chief Justice Nicholas Trott convened the Court of the Vice Admiralty in a private residence to try the case of the pirates who had recently been captured along with Stede Bonnet. 

Nov. 5 -- Gov. Robert Johnson took four ships to attack pirates off the coast and a dramatic battle ensured. 

Nov. 8 -- Twenty-nine of Stede Bonnet's crew were hanged at what is now White Point Gardens.

Nov. 10 -- Stede Bonnet was stood trial for piracy with Judge Nicholas Trott presiding.

Nov. 19 -- The trial began for 19 pirates captured by Gov. Robert Johnson before Judge Nicholas Trott.

Nov. 24 -- Judge Nicholas Trott sentenced the 19 pirates captured by Gov. Robert Johnson to death by hanging.

Dec. 10 -- Stede Bonnet was hanged for piracy at White Point Gardens.

1719

Nov. 17 -- In what some call America's First Revolution, Carolina's colonial Assembly met in Charles Town and disavowed further allegiance to the Lords Prioprietors in favor of becoming a Royal Colony. The Assembly declared itself "the government until His Majesty's pleasure be known."

Dec. 21 -- The Assembly proclaimed Gen. James Moore Jr., who had led a successful attack on the Tuscarora tribe during the Yemassee War, as provisional governor until they received further directives from the Crown. 

1721

May 22 -- Having successfully pulling off America's "First Revolution" to make Charles Town a royal rather than proprietary colony, Charlestonians welcomed their first Royal Governor, Francis Nicholson, who arrived on this day. 

1723

Jan. 12 -- Sir William Rhett, one of the colony's leading men and the captain who captured the notorious Stede Bonnet and other pirates, died. We visit the pirates nomument on our Lost Charleston (Route 2) tour.

1730

Nov. 21 -- William Moultrie, future S.C. Governor, General and Patriot hero of the American Revolution, is born.

Nov. 22 -- The day after William Moutrie's birth, Edward Rutledge, also a future S.C. Governor and the youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence, is born.

Dec. 15 -- Robert Johnson arrives as Charles Town's first Royal Governor.

1732

Jan. 8 -- Thomas Whitmarsh, who had once worked for Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia, published the first edition of the South Carolina Gazette.

1734 

Feb. 2 -- The South Carolina Gazette resumes publication under its new editor, Lewis Timothy.

1735

Jan. 24 -- A troupe of traveling actors, in league with local musicians, staged the colony's first theatrical season in the "long room" of Shepheard's Tavern, located on the northeast corner of Broad and Church streets. The season opener was The Orphan, or the Unhappy Marriage. Tickets cost 40 shillings each.

Feb. 18 -- The first documented opera to be performed in America, Flora, or Hob in the Well, opened in the "long room" of Shepheard's Tavern on the northeast corner of Broad and Church street.

May 22 -- Charles Lowndes, being heavily in debt, fatally shot himself in jail, where he was being held for his failure to financially support his estranged wife. Considered to be a gentleman, he had been allowed to keep his firearm during his incarceration.

1736

Feb. 12 -- The Dock Street Theatre presents its first performance, a comedy titled The Recruiting Officer.

1737

Nov. 19 -- Charles Theodore Pachelbel arrives in Chalreston.

Dec. 3 -- An indentured white servant, Samuel Dyssli, wrote home to his family saying "I am over here, thank God, hale and hearty, and doing at present quite nicely. I am working with an English master. He gives me every week ... 50 shillings, and ... plentiful ... food and drink."

1738

May 4 -- The South Carolina Gazette reported that several recently imported slaves had small pox and suggested that readers "take all imaginable care to prevent" its spread.

June 26 -- As the terrible smallpox epidemic of 1738 subsided, acting Royal Governor William Bull proclaimed June 26 as "a day of publick Fasting and Humiliation" to remember the many deaths in Charles Town.

1739

Sept. 9 -- The bloodiest slave revolt in colonial America began near what is today the Stono River Bridge on Highway 17, about 20 miles south of Charleston. 

1740

Apr. 5 -- Concerned about the ever-increasing ratio of enslaved blacks to whites, the Assembly imposed a prohibitively high import duty on African slaves.

Nov. 18 -- One of Charleston's most destructive fires began around 2 p.m. "in a Sadler's House" at the corner of Broad and Church streets, destroying not only private residences, but the heart of the city's commercial warehouse district.

1741

Jan. 8 -- Believing that the Great Conflagration of 1740 was a sign of God's displeasure of Charles Town's sinful society, Anglican evangelist George Whitfield wrote in an article that ran in the Gazette saying that even the colony's clergy were robbers who did not follow in "the Footsteps of our True Sheperd." He was soon thereafter arrested and upon his release, returned to England.

Aug. 15 -- As reported later in the Gazette, an enslaved man named Boatswain was brutally excuted after being named as a co-conspirator in a arsonist's plot. The disturbing article shows evidence of the increasing fear whites had as the enslaved black majority of the colony grew larger.

1742

June 26 -- Arthur Middleton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, is born.

Oct. 25 -- According to author Walter J. Fraser Jr. in Charleston! Charleston!, a visitor to Charles Town noted: "matters between the whites and the blacks here are such that one fears to be seen outside the house."

1743

Dec. 18 -- Upon his arrival in Charles Town aboard the Tartar, Royal Gov. James Glen described the colony as being "... in Ashes, Defenseless, Declining."

1744

Nov. 18 -- Shepheard's Tavern reopens following its destruction in the Fire of 1740.

1752

Jan. 9 -- Archibald Broun, who would go on to be a Patriot hero of the American Revolution, was born at Brounsfield Plantation, north of Charles Town. 

Feb. 15 -- The first race at the new Washington Race Course (now Hampton Park) took place.

Sept. 14 -- The first breezes of what would become the Great Hurricane of 1752 began to pick up late in the afternoon.

Sept. 15 -- One of the strongest hurricanes ever to strike the East Coast came ashore, blowing a large ship anchored in Charleston Harbor up Vanderhorst Creek (today's Water Street), striking the meeting house of a group of Baptists who had recently split from the city's main congregation, and finally coming to rest near Meeting Street.

1756

June 1 -- William Henry Lyttleton arrived in Charles Town aboard HMS Winchelsea to assume his new position as the colony's Royal Governor. In Charleston! Charleston!, author Walter J. Fraser Jr. describes him as "a short, slim, thirty-one-year-old man, well connected with England's aristocracy by birth and marriage." A great crowd turned out to greet him; Henry Laurens expressed the feelings of many: "We are much in want of a new Governor. We mean a good one."

July 2 -- News reached Charles Town that England had declared war on France. Royal Gov. Lyttelton received the Assembly's support in raising funds for the war effort by raising taxes on run, bread and flour. Wealthy legislators, however, stopped short of further taxing real and chattel property.

1757

Nov. 23 -- Dr. Robert Broun dies and is buried in the St. James Goose Creek Chapel of Ease churchyard. 

Nov. 28 -- The American Navy was established, an entity that would play a huge role in Charleston's -- indeed, in South Carolina's -- 20th century history as well as the 18th.

1758

Feb. 28 -- Lt. Col. Henry Bouquet, who author Walter J. Fraser Jr. (Charleston! Charleston!) called a "brash thirty-eight-year-old British soldier-of-fortune" demanded that the colonial Assembly pay for his officers' housing needs. The Assembly refused his request. Soldiers' housing would become one of colonists' complaints as the country moved toward revolution.

March 18 -- The Assembly denied Lt. Col. Henry Bouquet's demand that they pay for his soldiers' housing. Among those who were opposed were Peter Manigault, Christopher Gadsden, Charles Pinckney, Henry Laurens and Rawlins Lowndes, writing "Officers and Soldiers cannot, legally or constitutionally, be quarter'd in private Houses, without the special Consent of the Owners or Possessors of such Houses."

1760

Jan. 9 -- Gov. Lyttleton and his soldiers marched (somewhat) victoriously down Broad Street and at noon cannons fired to welcome the troops back to Charleston after having concluded a peace treaty with the Cherokees near Keowee. The treaty was hastily made as a raging smallpox epidemic was ravaging the tribe, and the soldiers feared catching it.

Jan. 12 -- Three days after Gov. Lyttleton's return, the worst epidemic to date of smallpox broke out within the colony.

1761

Dec. 17 -- Early Patriot leader Christopher Gadsden wrote an editorial in the Gazette accussing Lt. Col. James Grant, a Scottish officer in the British Army, of not having been aggressive enough in his attacks on the Cherokees, claiming he did not permit his men "to cut the throats of as many as they could have." In Charleston! Charleston!, author Walter J. Fraser Jr. suggests the criticism may have been fueled, at least in part, by "personal jealousies increasingly common in relations between British regular officers and provincial officers" (p. 95). 

1764

Aug. 19 -- Arthur Middleton married Mary Izard, "a Lady who is one of the first of her sex for sense, politeness and every female accomplishment."

1765

Sept. 4 -- Christopher Gadsden, Thomas Lynch and John Rutledge set sail for the illegally called Stamp Act Congress in New York City. Gadsden, ever the ardent Patriot, served as chair of the committee that drafted resolutions condemning the act.

Oct. 24 -- An angry mob seeking the whereabouts of the destested tax stamps issued through the Stamp Act stormed a number of notable residences in downtown Charleston, including that of Henry Laurens, who said that under the guise of "Patriotism ... committed at length Burglary & Robbery." (Fraser Jr., West J. in Charleston! Charleston!, p. 109)

Oct. 26 -- Leaders of a rebel mob spread rumors that Charles Town's two local stamp agents, George Saxby and Caleb Lloyd, were hiding out at Fort Johnson on James Island. Over the next two days, the mob rampaged through the streets of Charles Town, threatening to kill the agents if they did not resign their office. (Source: Charleston, Charleston!, p. 109, by Walter J. Fraser Jr.)

Oct. 28 -- Because of the murderous threats by an angry rebel mob two days before, Charles Town's stamp agents, George Saxby and Caleb Lloyd, announced that to ensure the peace of the province (and save their lives), they would not enforce the hated Stamp Act. The Sons of Liberty poured into the streets and unfurled the blue flag of "Liberty." (Source: Charleston, Charleston!, p. 109, by Walter J. Fraser Jr.)

Dec. 17 -- Amid rumors of a possible slave rebellion, Acting Governor William Bull called an emergency Council meeting. A hundred militia men were deployed to patrol the city and the captains of ships moored in the harbor had their sailors stand sentinel at night. The holidays passed peacefully, though the patrols continued both day and night through early January (Charleston! Charleston! by West Fraser Jr., p. 113).

1766

Jan. 1 -- Becoming increasingly alarmed at the ratio of the enslaved vs. white population in Charles Town, the Assembly imposed heavy import duties on all slaves brought into the colony as of this date.

June 6 -- Elizabeth Thomas Broun dies and is buried in the St. James Goose Creek Chapel of Ease churchyard. 

1768

Oct. 1 -- In preparation for the upcoming Assembly elections, Charles Town's mechanics nominated candidates who opposed the Quartering Act, Stamp Act, and Sugar Act. Led by Patriot Christopher Gadsden, they met at the Liberty Tree "where many loyal, patriotic and constitutional toasts were drank." The company then marched on to Dillon's Tavern to continue the celebration.

1770

Jan. 30 -- Lt. Gov. William Bull recommended to the General Assembly the establishment of a provincial college, which became what we know today as the College of Charleston (and my Alma Mater).

1773

Jan. 12 -- Though authoritative accounts vary, what may indeed have been the first public museum in America was established, The Charleston Museum.

Nov. 19 -- The so-called "Club Forty-Five" met at the Liberty Tree to agitate for independence from English rule.

1774

Oct. 22 -- Henry Middleton was elected President of the first Continental Congress.

1779

Nov. 18 -- Lt. Col. William Washington is transferred to Charleston. We visit his townhouse on our Charleston Overview Tour and pass by his plantation and burial site on our tour to visit Beautiful Beaufort by the Sea.

1780

Aug. 17 -- Capt. Archibald Broun, a Revolutionary hero of Brounsfield Plantation in Mt. Pleasant, married Mary Deas, the daughter of his wealthy neighbors, John and Elizabeth Allen Deas of Thoroughgood Plantation.

Oct. 5 -- Henry Laurens earns the unique distinction of becoming the only American to ever be held prisoner in the Tower of London, following his arrest for high treason.

1782

Aug. 27 -- In the waning days of the American Revolution, John Laurens was shot off his horse and mortally wounded. 

1784

June 25 -- The Hebrew Benevolent Society of Charleston, the oldest Jewish charitable society in the United States, is founded.

1787

Jan. 1 -- Arthur Middleton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence dies. 

1794

Feb. 10 -- Planter and Revolutionary War Patriot Aaron Loocock dies from a wound sustained during the Siege of Savannah 20 years before.

1797

Dec. 11 -- After suffering for 18 years from an accidental bayonette wound he received at the Siege of Savannah, Patriot Capt. Archibald Broun (aka Brown) died at Blessing Plantation. During distinguished career, he negotiated with the French for miltary supplies and equipment, and became one of the five wealthiest land owners in St. Thomas Parish (near today's Goose Creek area).

1801

Feb. 2 -- Joseph Alston, who would become South Carolina's governor, married Theodosia Burr, the daughter of the nation's third Vice President, Aaron Burr. We visit their town house on CharlestoRatursiew t.

1802

Nov. 23 -- Theodosia Burr, daughter of Vice President Aaron Burr and a future First Lady of South Carolina, arrived in Charleston.

1807

Jan. 1 -- The foreign slave trade ended per Federal law (at least officially, if not in absolute practice) .

1824

Nov. 21 -- The first Reform Jewish congregation in the nation was founded in Charleston by 47 members of the Kahal Kadesh Beth Elohim Synagogue.

1837

Jan. 20 -- Sarah and Angelina Grimke begin the first of a six-week lecture series about slavery in New York Baptist churches. Though fiction, a great book about the Grimke sisters is The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd.

1838

Jan. 1 -- Osceola arrives as a prisoner at Fort Moultrie.

Jan. 30 -- Osceola dies and is buried at Fort Moultrie.

Sept. 30 -- James Matthews shares horrific stories of being an enslaved person sent to the notorious "Sugar House" for punishment.

1839

Oct. 6 -- Susan M. Breaker dies and is buried at the Bethlehem Baptist Church, where she had been an active member for 40 years.

1854

Sept. 28 -- L.E.A. Shier was born to Aaron and Mary Shier in Goose Creek.

1859

Sept. 10 -- L.E.A. Shier, sometimes known as the Trillium Angel, died aged four years, 11 months and 13 days, a victim of the "bilious fever" epidemic that was going around after an unusally hot, humid summer.

Sept. 11 -- L.E.A. Shier, 4, was buried at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Goose Creek.

1860

Nov. 7 -- News of Abraham Lincoln's election reaches Charleston, fueling the call of secessionists who give impassioned speeches at S.C. Institute Hall on Meeting Street.

Nov. 9 -- Two days after news of Abraham Lincoln's election as president, pro-secessionists stage a rally at the S.C. Institute Hall, next to the Circular Congregational Church on Meeting Street.

Dec. 20 -- South Carolina delegates vote unanimously for seccession at St. Andrew's Hall on Broad Street. The document was drawn up and signed later that evening before a cheering crowd at S.C. Institute Hall on Meeting Street.

Dec. 27 -- In what some say to have been the "real" start of the Civil War, the Charleston militia ousted a small group of civilian laborers and two Union officers from Castle Pinckney, making it the first Federal military installation to seized by the Confederates.

Dec. 30 -- Ten days after South Carolina seceded from the Union, the state militia seized the United States Arsenal in Charleston.

1861

Jan. 9 -- The "real" first shot of the Civil War (IMHO) was fired from the Morris Island/Fort Johnson area at a United States merchant ship named Star of the West that was bound for Fort Sumter, either to simply bring food and medical supplies to the Federal troops stationed there, or to also bring arms and reinforcements, depending on who you believe. No one will ever know.

Feb. 2 -- The Illustrated London News ran an illustration of the lobby of the Charleston Hotel as part of its coverage of the impending Civil War. 

April 12 -- The first shots were fired at Fort Sumter. The Civil War had begun in Charleston Harbor.

Dec. 11 -- The largest, most destructive fire in the history of Charleston began near Hasell and East Bay streets, swept west to Meeting Street, down to Broad Street, and all the way over to the Ashley River side of the peninsula, burning more than 540 acres, 575 homes, many businesses and five churches, including the Pinckney Mansion, S.C. Institute Hall, Circular Congregational Church, St. Andrew's Hall, and the Cathedral of St. John and St. Finbar. Property damage was estimated to be between $5 million and $8 million. 

1863

July 14 -- The Mercury opined: "The battes at Gettysburg, like all that have succeeded the first Manassas, eaves the Yahhkeke army undestroyed and nothing decided. Always there is some fatality, miscalculation or inadvetenance, which chouses us out of a complete victory." (Source: Seabrook Wilkinson in "The Way It Was 150 Years Ago: A disappointing lunch," Charleston Mercury, July 2013, p.16)

July 18 -- 650 members of the all-black (except for Col. Robert Gould Shaw) 54th Massachusetts Regiment attacked Battery Wagner on Morris Island in one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War.

Aug. 22 -- Some time around 10:45 p.m., Union Maj. Gen. Quincy Gillmore sent a note to Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard demanding Charleston's immediate surrender or else at midnight he would commence firing from a floating battery recently built between James and Morris islands to hold the 12-ton canon known as the Swamp Angel.

Aug. 23 -- Union Maj. Gen. Quincy Gillmore began firing upon Charleston using the canon known as the Swamp Angel.

Aug. 24 -- On its third night of firing, the Swamp Angel exploded on its 20th shot.

 

1864

Feb. 17 -- The HL Hunley became the first submarine to successfully sink its target, the Housatonic. Though successfully completing their mission, the sub with its crew, never returned to shore and remained on the bottom of the ocean for the next 136 years.

1865

Feb. 17 -- Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard called for all Confederate troops to evacuate the city, loading any useful things aboard the last train out of town and destroying anything left that the enemy could use. As fires blazed across the peninsula, the city fell to Union troops.

Feb. 18 -- As the last train transporting Confederate soldiers and supplies pulled away, a horrible explosion at the Northeastern Railroad Depot killed more than 250 desperate men, women and children scavenging for whatever food and supplies they could find.

May 1 -- Thousands of emancipated slaves marched in a parade to the old Washington Race Course, which had served as a Union POW camp during the Civil War. There they exhumed mass graves and reburied the Union dead with respect and ceremony, then celebrated their newfound freedom with speeches and a picnic. Some credit this celebration as the nation's first Memorial Day.

1866

Jan. 30 -- The melted fragments St. Michael's bells are shipped to England to be recast, following their destruction during Sherman's burning of Columbia, where they unfortunately had been hidden for safe keeping.

Oct. 15 -- Horse-drawn car service begins in Charleston.

1886

Aug. 31 -- The largest earthquake ever recorded on the East Coast, estimated to have been a 7.2 on today's Richter Scale, struck Charleston.

1897

Dec. 13 -- The first local large-scale party featuring roasted oysters was sponsored by the Grand Lodge of Ancient Masons on Remley’s Point.

1898

May 3 -- Septima Poinsette Clark is born.

1899

Dec. 29 -- The South Carolina Jockey Club disbands and donates its property, the former Washington Race Course, to the South Carolina Library Society.

1901

Jan. 10 -- The Naval Appropriations Act provided funding for a new Navy Base just north of Charleston along the banks of the Cooper River.

Aug. 13 -- The city of Charleston sold the former Chicora Park, a few miles north of the city along the Cooper River, to the U.S. Navy to create a base and shipyard.

1902

Sept. 27 -- The Evening Post, in its coverage of the opening of the new Commercial Club, noted that the building's fourth floor was enclosed in glass that could be opened, "making a delightful resort to spend the evenings during the summer months."

1918

Jan. 3 -- Mary A. Storfer, the new proprietress of the Timrod Inn (formerly the Commercial Club, afterwards known as the Timrod Hotel), announced in the News and Courier: "Many people have told us that the Timrod Inn fills a distinct place in the community, and indications are that our rooms will be in demand from the beginning. We shall open Monday morning and guests will be given desirable accommodations without delay."

1928

Nov. 24 -- The cornerstone for a new bank was laid at the historic former site of Shepheard's Tavern at the northeast corner of Broad and Church streets.

1931

Oct. 13 -- City Council created America's first historical zoning ordinance, protecting its 18th century core from demolitions and establishing the city Board of Architectural Review.

1935

Oct. 7 -- Porgy & Bess, an opera by George Gershwin based on the novel Porgy by DuBose Heyward, opened on Broadway. Telling the story of the lives of African-American tennets on "Catfish Row," the play ran for 124 performances. The plot prominently features the lifes of members of Charleston's famed Mosquito Fleet.

1936

Nov. 23 -- Life magazine, created by Henry R. Luce, was first published. A visit to the Luce family cemetery at Mepkin Abby is included in our Day on the Cooper River tour.

1937

July 30 -- The Rev. Daniel Jenkins dies.

1951

Aug. 29 -- Seventy-three orphans leave the Charleston Orphanage for the last time before it is torn down to make room for a new Sears Department Store.

1960

Apr. 1 -- Twenty-four black students from Burke High School staged a Civil Rights sit-in at the Kresse Department Store lunch counter on King Street, changing the city's dialogue about the issues facing racial equality in America.

Sept. 11 -- Hurricane Donna passes by the Carolina coastline, spawning a tornado that brought down three walls of the Bennett Rice Mill, c. 1844.

1970

Oct. 9 -- Having succumbed to termite damage and carefully demolished, the new Mills House Hotel, having been rebuilt as closely as possible to the original (yet adding two additional floors) and using as much salvaged building materials as possible, reopened to the public.

1971

Oct. 17 -- Popular aviator Bevo Howard struck a tree as he pulled out of a stunt at a charity airshow in Greenville, N.C., and was killed in the resulting crash.

1987

Dec. 15 -- Septima Poinsette Clark dies.

1989

Sept. 21/22 -- At midnight, the eye of Hurricane Hugo, a category 4 storm, passed over Cove Inlet between Mt. Pleasant and Sullivans Island.

1994

Jan. 20 -- Shannon Faulkner became the first woman to attend classes at The Citadel. She joined the cadet corps in August 1995, but dropped out about a week later, citing isolation and stress from the legal proceedings and her reception at the college.

1996

Apr. 1 -- The Charleston Naval Base and Shipyard closes. 

1997

Oct. 19 -- David Byrne, Cracker and Cowboy Mouth were among the bands that played at 96 WAVEFEST.

2003

Jan. 27 -- Leonardo DiCaprio, Steven Spielberg, Frank Abagnale and Tom Hanks attend a press conference in London before the UK premier of "Catch Me if You Can."

2006

Oct. 22 -- Bowens Island restaurant burned to the ground.

Invading Native American warriors were turned back near the St. James Chapel of Ease Historic Site by pallisades similar to these reproductions at Charles Towne Landing. The overthrow of the colony's Proprietary Govnerment to become a Royal Colony is discussed in our Day on the Cooper River Tour. (Photo credit: Suzanne Townsend)
For more than a century, the Charleston Naval Base and Shipyard was South Carolina's largest employer. Learn more in Lost Charleston. (Photo credit: Library of Congress)
The grave of Patriot Capt. Archibald Broun is featured on the Day on the Cooper River Tour. (Photo credit: Charleston Raconteurs)
The unfortunate story of American Patriot Capt. Archibald Broun is a part of our Day on the Cooper River Tour. (Photo credit: Charleston Raconteurs)
A visit to the grave of Elizabeth Thomas Broun is included on our Day on the Cooper River Tour.
We visit the gravesite of Dr. Robert Broun on Charleston Raconteurs' Day on the Cooper River Tour. (Photo credit: Charleston Raconteurs)
Susan M. Breaker's grave site is included on our Day on the Cooper River Tour. (Photo credit: Charleston Raconteurs)
A rare pre-1861 image of S.C. Institute Hall on Meeting Street, just south of the Circular Congreational Church. This historic site is included on our Lost Charleston Tour.
A visit to the site of Henry Laurens' townhouse that was raided is included on our Lost Charleston tours. A visit to Laurens' Mepkin Plantation and his grave is included on our Day on the Cooper River tour.
We discuss the life and legacy of Septima P. Clark, the woman who inspired Dr. Martin Luther King, on our Sea Islands tour.
The life and legacy of Septima P. Clark is discussed on our Sea Islands Tour.

We discuss the compelling and diverse history of the Washington Race Course on our Lost Charleston (Route 3) Tour.

Revolutionary hero Archibald Broun married Mary Deas. We pay tribute at his abandoned gravesite on our Day on the Cooper River Tour.
We visit the gravesite of L.E.A. Shier, also known as the Trillium Angel, on our Day on the Cooper River Tour.
The Charleston Navy Base was established on the former Chicora Park.
An artist's rendering of what Shepheard's Tavern, also variously known as Swallow's Tavern and other names, might have looked like. We discuss the many "firsts" that took place here on our Lost Charleston (Route 2) Tour.
Learn more about the huge impact of the Charleston Navy Base and Shipyard in Lost Charleston.
We recall the moving story of the nation's (probable) first Memorial Day celebration at the former Washington Race Course on our Lost Charleston (Route 3) Tour.
We explore the dramatic and varied history of the Washington Race Course on our Lost Charleston (Route 3) Tour.
Many historic "firsts" took place on the former site of Shepheard's Tavern, which we discuss on our Lost Charleston (Route 2) Tour.