Hey Charleston, Katie here. 👋 One of the things I love most about living in South Carolina – and Charleston specifically – is the rich history + legacy that have been left by so many distinct people.
Did you know that South Carolina has its own hall of fame that recognizes and honors 100+ men and women of the past + present who have made exceptional contributions to South Carolina’s heritage and progress?
The South Carolina Hall of Fame (located in Myrtle Beach) is a nonprofit corporation funded in part by the state that was dedicated in 1973 by Gov. John C. West – who was inducted into the hall in 2002. It was signed into law as the state’s official hall of fame by Gov. Jim Hodges on Sep. 21, 2001.
Those eligible for induction include both SC natives who obtained recognition in or outside of the state and non-residents who made an impact within the state. Each year, a minimum of one living and one deceased citizen is inducted. Nominations are made by the Confederation of South Carolina Local Historical Societies (CSCLHS) and are judged and selected by the Board of Trustees.
This year, Charleston native and country star Darius Rucker was inducted along with artist, educator and museum director Dr. Leo Twiggs of St. Stephen, SC. The late Elizabeth Evelyn Wright (1872-1906) was also inducted to recognize her creation of the Denmark Industrial Institute (presently Voorhees College) – a school for African American youth.
Here are 10 notable inductees that are recognized for their legacy in Charleston:
Donald Patrick “Pat” Conroy (1945-2016); inducted in 2009
Atlanta native and author Pat Conroy wrote his first book, “The Water is Wide,” after graduating from The Citadel with an English degree and working as a teacher. His autobiographical novel, “The Great Santini,” was adapted into a film starring Robert Duvall in 1979, and his most famous work, “The Prince of Tides,” became a movie in 1991 that earned seven Academy Award nominations. His works have earned numerous awards including the National Endowment for the Arts Award for Achievement in Education and the Order of the Palmetto.
Elizabeth O’Neill Verner (1883-1979); inducted in 1998
This Charleston-born artist became famous for her paintings + drawings of the Holy City. In awe of Charleston’s beauty, she also wrote three books – “Prints and Impressions of Charleston,” “Mellowed by Time,” + “The Stonewall Ladies” – as part of the campaign to preserve historic landmarks. Her art can be found in museums throughout the U.S. including the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art and Atlanta’s High Museum.
Francis Marion (1732-1795); inducted in 1975
Renowned Revolutionary War general Francis Marion was born in Berkeley County. His nickname “Swamp Fox” originated from his hit-and-run retreating tactics with guerilla soldiers through lowcountry swamps. This strategy played a key role in the British surrender at Yorktown.
Frances Ravenel Smythe Edmunds (1916-2010); inducted in 1998
This Charleston native was the founding director of the Historic Charleston Foundation, which played a major role in the preservation of Charleston’s architecture. She was appointed to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation by President Jimmy Carter and served as a trustee of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation. In 1971 she was awarded the Louise DuPont Crowninshield Award by the Historic Preservation – which is the organization’s highest honor.
Joseph P. Riley, Jr. (1943-present); inducted in 2016
Next time you attend a Thirsty Thursday at the Joe (post-COVID-19), think about who the RiverDogs’ stadium is named after. Elected in 1975, Joseph P. Riley, Jr. was Charleston’s first mayor – and served 10 terms (40 years). His term saw revitalization of the historic downtown business district, creation of the Spoleto Festival USA, expansion of affordable housing and the Mother Emanuel AME Church Shooting. After his mayorship, he joined the faculty of The Citadel as the first member of an endowed Professorship of American Government and Public Policy created in his honor.
Maude Callen (1898-1990); inducted in 1990
Florida native Maude Callen spent over 50 years serving poor, rural Berkeley County residents as a nurse + midwife with the Berkeley County Health Department. Life Magazine published a 12-page photo spread of her work in 1952, which collected $27,000 used to construct a clinic in Pineville, SC – the city in which she first began her healthcare work. Her service was recognized with the Alexis de Tocqueville Society Award from the United Way + the Jefferson Award of the American Institute for Public Service.
Philip Simmons (1912-2009); inducted in 1994
This Daniel Island native began specialized ornamental iron work in 1928, which have since been recognized nationally. His work – ranging from gates to balconies – can be found in the South Carolina State Museum, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. and the National Museum of American History. Visit the Philip Simmons Garden downtown to see his wrought iron + tribute to his character.
Septima Poinsette Clark (1898-1987); inducted in 2014
Have you ever wondered who Septima P. Clark Parkway is named after? Septima Poinsette Clark was born in Charleston and spent her life as an educator + civil rights activist. She developed the literacy and citizenship workshops that aided in both voting and civil rights for African Americans during the Civil Rights Movement, earning her nationally-recognized nicknames such as “Grandmother of the American Civil Rights Movement.”
William Moultrie (1730-1805); inducted in 2000
Charleston native General William Moultrie was a statesman and patriot of the American Revolution. The general was serving as the Colonel of the 2nd Regiment of South Carolina when the British were defeated at Sullivan’s Island in 1776. He designed the flag that flew over the fort, which was named Fort Moultrie in his honor.
William S. Hall, M.D. (1915-1995); inducted in 1975
Aiken County native Dr. William S. Hall attended the Medical College of Charleston (presently MUSC), where he became interested in those with mental illness. After graduation, he got a job at the South Carolina State Hospital in Columbia and led it to become the first major mental institution in the southeast to receive full accreditation from the Joint Committee on Accreditation.
Think you know SC’s inductees? Try taking South Carolina Hall of Fame’s quizzes (easy, moderate + difficult) to test your knowledge.