CHARLESTON'S LATEST REINVENTION OF HERSELF

1993 - Today

1994
Jan. 20 -- Shannon Faulkner became the first woman accepted (accidentally, because admissions officers thought Shannon was a man's name) to attend classes at The Citadel. She joined the cadet corps in August 1995, but dropped out a week later, citing isolation and stress from the legal proceedings and her reception at the college.

1996
April 1 -- After nearly a century as South Carolina's economic engine, the Charleston Naval Base and Shipyard closed. 

1997
Oct. 19 -- David Byrne, Cracker and Cowboy Mouth were among the bands that played at 96 WAVEFEST.

2000

Aug. 8 -- The wreckage of the H.L. Hunley, the first submarine to succesfully complete its military mission when it sank the USS Housatonic on Feb. 17, 1864, was recovered off Sullivan's Island and returned to port. While many spectators paid to secure spots along its return route through the harbor, all they could see of the vessel at eye level was the supporting "cradle" that had brought up the sub. Those of us fortunate enough to be working at Historic Charleston Foundation in the Capt. James Missroon House at 40 East Bay Street, were greatly surpised when the recovery ship went off its announced route and passed directly east of our offices. Racing out to the fire escape from the third floor, we could see directly down into the very body of the Hunley.

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.

2019

Dec. 12 --The results of a study published in the journal Current Biology presented new genetic evidence blaming the blame for the extinction of the Carolina parakeet squarely on human interference.

2020

Feb. 28 -- At a rally at the North Charleston Coliseum, President Donald Trump asserted that Democratic complaints about his handling of the corona virus threat were "their new hoax."

2023

April 28 -- A golf cart carrying four people was struck from behind by an alleged drunk driver on Folly Beach, killing 34-year-old Samantha Miller and injuring her new husband, Aric Hutchinson, and two members of Hutchison's family. The couple had celebrated their wedding a few hours earlier.

June 28 -- Sandra Meares, a resident of Folly Beach, passed away. According to her obit, she was the matriarch of Group Therapy, an iconic bar of the 1980s and beyond in the Five Points neighborhood of Columbia. A nasty little dive, the tradition was to violently throw your last beer bottle in the trashcan on the way out, busting it to pieces. Meares had a reputation as someone friends could come to for advice or comfort in difficult times, which she was happy to dispense along with a cold beverage. That is how the bar got its name, Group Therapy.

June 29  -- Marvin "Jerry" Gerome Beach of Mt. Pleasant died surrounded by his family. According to his July 9 obituary, Jerry leveraged his gregarious nature and perfect head of hair into a successful sales career. He served as a mentor not only to his own children, but also every child selling lemonade with whom he crossed paths. He as an amazing cook, fantastic tipper, and could swallow two slices of white bread in under a minute without even a sip of water.

July 2 -- Six members of the Magwood family were stabbed to death in Green Pond, then their house set afire. A seventh victim, just 13 years old, was injured, but played dead until the killer left the house, then escaped to a neighbor's house. Among the dead were Maggie Magwood, 101; Amos Magwood, 73, Michelle Wright, 50; Jefferson A. Burnell, 49; Sha-Riya Manigo, 11; and Shamiah Rutledge, 7. Sha-Riya's father, Ryan Lenard Manigo, was arrested and charged. Arrest warrant affidavits said Manigo "entered the residence under the cloak of darkness while armed with a knife, stabbed family members to death ... and set the residence on fire." According to the affidavits, he also sexually assaulted several of the victims. (Source: Post and Courier, Aug. 1)

July 5 -- John Patrick O'Brien, a native of New Jersey who moved to Charleston, died. In 1943, at the age of 18, O'Brien enlisted in the Army Air Corps. After training an as a second lieutenant, he was assiged to the 27th Troop Carrier Squadron. Arriving in Chunking, China, their mission was airdropping troops, food, ammunition and other supplies. In August 1945, Mr. O'Brien was the navigator on a mission to Mukden, Manchura, to pick up and return 24 American and Allied Presioners of War after their liberation, He was awarded the Distrguished Flying Cross for this mission. He left active duty in 1946, but served in the Reserce until his retirement at the rank of Major. He always wore his WWII cap when in public and was very appreciative of those who thanked him for his service.

July 13 -- Services were held at Holy Cross cemetery on James Island for Marie Heiterer Townsend. Her family asked friends and family to "[p]lease dress appropriately for the hot Charlestom heat - Granny would want you to wear shorts and short sleeves."

July 15 -- John E. Day, senior engineer and director of maintenance at ALUMAX of SC, a smelting plant near Mt. Holly, passed away. Having joined the company at its inception in 1980, he received global recognition for his leadership in the recovery and startup of the plant after its forced shutdown during Hurricane Hugo in 1989. 

Long-time Charleston physician Dr. William Thomason also died on July 15, 2023. During his residency at Walter Reed Hospital, Dr. Thomason flew in Air Force One as part of a team attending President Dwight D. Eisenhower following his 1955 heart attack. Dr. Thomason was president of the Charleston County Medical Society (1972-72), a member of First (Scots) Presbyterian Church, Charleston Rotary Club, Middleton Hunt Club, Surgeon for the Washington Light Infantry, and Battalion Surgeon for the Palmetto Guard. He was also a member of the Society of Colonial Wars, the Sons of the American Revolution, the St. Andrews Society, the Widows and Orpans Society, and the Carolina Yacht Club.

July 17 -- Marsha E. Hass, Esq., one of the first group women to live in a Clemson dormitory, died at the age of 76. She earned her M.A.T., M.B.A., and J.D. degrees from USC, though remained a lifelong Tiger fan. Her obit said she was a complex person with great ability and talent who grew up and worked in a man's world where she was not afraid to speak her mind. While serving as a Folly Beach magistrate, she let local police know not to bring charges against a prostitute unless they also brought in the john. She spent the later part of her career as a Professor of Business Law at College of Charleston. She loved to fish and at one time was the only licensed female charter boat captain on the East Coast.

July 22 -- Ronald Norris Jr., a former radio operator in the U.S. Marine Corps, died in Summerville. Norris was deployed aboard the USS Iwo Jima in April 1986 to make an amphibious landing on Vieques, a small island off Puerto Rico. The landing was filmed and used in the Clint Eastwood movie Heartbreak Ridge

July 30 -- Sam Kirshtein, 98, died. The list of contributions and leadership roles Sam held during his lifetime took up an entire column in the July 31 Post and Courier. A lifelong Charlestonian, he was an active alumnus and athletic supporter of the College of Charleston. He was a local business leader through his ownership of Charleston's oldest extant furniture store, Dixie Furniture, a long-time anchor of upper King Street before upper King Street became cool. A generation of Charlestonians remember its advertising slogan, "Dixie'll do it, 'cause Dixie dooooooon't care!" Sam and his wife Mitzi were active in Charleston's Jewish community as well. Gov. Mark Sanford awarded Sam the state's highest civilian honor, the Order of the Palmetto, in 2005 for the many ways in which he made a difference in his community. He was one of the happiest, nicest guys I ever met, and made me immediately feel at home when, as President of the C of C Alumni Association, he welcomed me to its board in 1998.

Aug. 22 -- Elizabeth Rice Burbage of Ridgeville died at the age of 95. She retired from Summerville School District 2, having spent 26 years as a lunch room worker for a generation of children.

Sept. 27 -- Sixteen high school, middle school and elementary school principals sent letters to the Charleston County School Board expressing disappointment after weeks of chaotic meetings that ended in newly hired Superintendent Eric Gallien's paid suspension, saying that the substance and conduct of the meetings did not meet the basic standard of good governance from elected officials, adding that partisan politics have no place in a system devoted to educating students.

Oct. 3 -- Demolition crews dismantled Martha Lou's Kitchen on Morrison Drive, described by writers of the 10Best.com travel guide as a "roll-your-eyes-its-so-good" soul food restaurant. Its specialties included lima beans, mac and cheese, pork chops, giblet rice, collards, and fried chicken. After 30 years, the iconic restaurant had closed in 2020 a year before founder and legendary cook, Martha Lou Gadsden, died at the age of 91.

Oct. 8 -- Raquel Conchita Lawson Fielding died at the at of 89. The widow of Judge Bernard Fielding Sr., Mrs. Fielding was an ex-officio employee of Charleston's largest African-American funeral home, serving as Secretary of the Board for the corporation. She retired in 1998 after 40 years of service with the U.S. Customs Services, the first African-American woman employed by that ageny. She was active in many local service groups.

Oct. 14 -- Less than a week after the death of Board Secretary Raquel Conchita Lawson Fielding, Fielding Home for Funerals announced that after 111 years, it was closing its business at 122 Logan St. and moving its operation to 2704 Meeting St. The announcement in the Post & Courier noted they would not be accepting new clients.

Oct. 17 -- William T. Farley Jr. died in Mt. Pleasant.

2024

April 6 --Professor Emeritus Dr. Michael S. Kogan passed away. He received his B.A. in Philosophy and his Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Syracuse University, pursuing post-graduate studies at Columbia University and The Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Dr. Kogan taught in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Montclair State University in New Jersey for 41 years, serving as chair for 24 of those. He specialized in Jewish and Christian theology and Dialogue, Existentialism, and Old and New Testaments. His book, "Opening the Covenant: A Jewish Theology of Christianity," was published by Oxford University Press, and he published many essays, book chapters, introductions, and scholarly articles. Dr. Kogan taught adult courses in Bible and theology at many churches and synagogues, including St. Johannes Lutheran, St. Stephen's Episcopal, K.K. Beth Elohim and Synagogue Emanu-El, and at the College of Charleston. He was a long-time member of the Board of the Spoleto Festival, U.S.A., served on the Board of the CofC's Yashick/Arnold Jewish Studies Program, and was a "Pillar" of the Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina. He was a Life Member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Charleston's Fort Sumter Camp, and a former Commander and Adjutant of New York's General Archibald Gracie Camp 983, SCV. He was a member of the Palmetto Guards, Charleston Library Society, South Carolina Historical Society, Preservation Society of Charleston, Civil War Trust, South Carolina Battlefield Preservation Trust, Christian-Jewish Council and Harbor Club. The library of the CofC's Jewish Studies Center at the College of Charleston is named in honor of Dr. Kogan's great-great-great-grandfather, Rabbi Hirsch Levin. His great-great-grandfather, Harris Levin, and several other forbearers served in the Army of the Confederate States.

Listed in the inaugural edition of Places You Have to Visit Before You Die, Bowen's Island story is included in Lost Charleston.
International con man and author Frank Abignal's former home is included on our Charleston Overview tour.
The history of the Charleston Naval Shipyard is included in Lost Charleston. (Photo credit: Library of Congress)
A program from the funeral of five of the six victims murdered July 2, 2023. 
Samantha Miller, 34, was killed when the golf cart she was riding in as she returned from her wedding reception was struck from behind on Folly Beach. Her husband of five hours, Aric Hutchinson, and two of Hutchison's family members were injured.

Professor Marsha E. Hass, Esq.

Raquel Conchita Lawson Fielding (1934-2023)

Martha Lou's Kitchen