1766 -- As they became increasingly alarmed at the ever-increasing ratio of the enslaved vs. white population in Charles Town, the Assembly imposed heavy import duties on all slaves brought into the colony.
1787 -- Arthur Middleton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, died.
1807 -- The foreign slave trade ended per Federal law, at least legally if not actually in practice.
1838 -- Osceola arrived as a prisoner at Fort Moultrie.
1863 -- One of the greatest scientists you've probably never heard of, Arthur T. Wayne, was born.
1910 -- A reporter for the News & Courier wrote: “Traveling men usually remember the places they visit by the kinds of hotels at which they stopped. In Charleston there is one hotel that the consensus of opinion has named ‘The Best.’ This is the Charleston Hotel … a part of [the city’s] traditions.”
1918 -- Mary A. Storfer, the new proprietress of the Timrod Inn (formerly the Commercial Club), 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."
1704 -- Ruth Brewton, the sister of Miles Brewton and Rebecca Brewton Motte, future wife of S.C. Commissary Gen. William Pinckney, and mother of Col. Charles Pinckney, was born.
1732 -- Thomas Whitmarsh, who had once worked for Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia, published the first edition of the South Carolina Gazette.
1741 -- Feeling 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.
1752 -- Archibald Broun, who would go on to be a Patriot hero of the American Revolution, was born at Brounsfield Plantation, north of Charles Town. His gravesite is included in Charleston Raconteurs' Day on the Cooper River Tour.
1760 -- Gov. Lyttleton and his soldiers marched down Broad Street, and 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. Several days after their return, the city's worst epidemic to date of smallpox broke out within the colony.
1861 -- What some call the "real" first shot of the Civil War was fired from the Morris Island/Fort Johnson area at a United States merchant ship, 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 whom you believe. No one will ever know.
1901 -- The Naval Appropriations Act provided funding for the development of a new Naval Base just north of Charleston along the banks of the Cooper River. It would become the state's driving economic force of the20th century.
1723 -- Sir William Rhett, one of the colony's leading men and the captain who captured the notorious Stede Bonnet and other pirates, died.
1760 -- A punishing smallpox epidemic breaks out in Charleston.
1773 -- Though claims vary, what may have been the first public museum in the colonies was established in The Charleston Museum.
1778 -- One of the most destructive fires in Charleston's history broke out after dark near the intersection of Queen and Union (now State) streets.
1929 -- Joseph "Big Joe" Gawrych was born in North Haven, CT. According to his obituary in the Post and Courier, after his Navy service he and his Charleston bride settled in Mt. Pleasant, where he coached 11- and 12-year-old boys' baseball for more than 45 years. The Joe Gawrych Baseball Park in Mt. Pleasant is named in his honor. He also planted gardenias on Charlotte Street in the 1970s which have beeen propagated across the Southeast ever since.
1767 -- Mary-Anne Schad, the wife of a plantation overseer, gave birth to their second child, a daughter. Planters believed that having a married overseer on the property would help keep the overseer more settled and responsible. (Source: South Carolina Women, p. 66)
1820 -- John and Lavinia Fisher’s appeal on charges of highway robbery was unsuccessful and they were sentenced to be hanged Feb. 4.
1735 -- Planter Charles Lowndes advertised his 1,000-acre Goose Creek plantation for sale in the South Carolina Gazette. (Source: Goose Creek, A Definitive History)
1649 -- 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 factors contributing to what eventually would become the first permanent English settlement of Charles Town some 30 years later.
1837 -- 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.
1994 -- 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.
1735 -- 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 and cost 40 shillings for a ticket.
1945 -- The Christ Church (Mt. Pleasant) flagon was returned to the Rev. Edmund Coe by Bonnie McArty, whose uncle Frank Blaine, a Union infantryman, stole it following the 1865 Confederate evacuation of Charleston. (Source: Stolen Charleston: The Spoils of War, p. 11.)
1785 -- According to the journal of the House of Representatives, two petitions were presented, one of which called for the establishment of a school (which would later become the College of Charleston) at Charleston and the other at Winnsborough. The petitions were sent to committee for consideration. (Source: A History of the College of Charleston, p. 18.)
2003 -- 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."
1813 -- A man named Pierre Mathesau was hanged in front of the Old City Jail on Magazine Street. (Source: Abode of Misery, p. 15.)
1649 -- Charles I was beheaded as Oliver Cromwell and his Puritan Party assume rule over England.
1662 -- Newly restored to the British throne, Charles II had the body of Oliver Cromwell exhumed on the 12th anniversary of his father's execution and beheads the corpse.
1770 -- 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).
1838 -- Osceola died and was buried at Fort Moultrie.
1862 -- Henry Michael Lofton, of the 10th Regiment, took time off from the Civil War to marry Susan Ann Morrison at Second Presbyterian Church. (Source: Home in the Village, p. 76)
1866 -- The melted fragments of St. Michael's bells were shipped back to England to be recast after their destruction during the Civil War.
1861 -- In the wake of Seccession, S.C. Attorney General Issac W. Hayne, who was serving Gov. Francis W. Pickens as an envoy to Washington, wrote to U.S. President Buchanan warning him that the U.S. possession and occupation of Fort Sumter "if continued long enough, must lead to a collision." (Source: Confederate South Carolina, p. 19-20)