South Carolina
 
 
 
 
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Learn before you travel. This section of Fun Easy English focuses on facts and other cool stuff about your favorite U.S. state. This is great English reading practice. This page focuses on the state of South Carolina.
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South Carolina

Settled by the English in 1670, South Carolina was based on a plantation culture with an aristocratic, wealthy society that was dependent on black slave labor. One of the original 13 colonies, South Carolina was first formed in 1729 when the Carolina colony was divided in two to form North and South Carolina. The attack on Fort Sumter in the Charleston harbor launched the Civil War. After the war, the structure of the state changed. Today South Carolina honors its history and culture while also working to become a global business center. It is fitting that the state tree of the "Palmetto State" is the cabbage palmetto, which also appears on the state flag. The flower is the yellow jessamine, and the capital is Columbia.
Flag of South CarolinaSouth Carolina State Flag


The state flag of South Carolina was adopted on January 28, 1861. The crescent symbol represents the silver emblem worn on the caps of South Carolina troops during the revolutionary war, and the background color matches the blue of their uniforms. Crescents were also a component of a banner carried by South Carolina protesters of the Stamp Act in 1776.

The flag also features the state tree (sabal palmetto). South Carolina's nickname is the palmetto state, a sabal palmetto tree appears on the state seal, and also on the U.S. Mint's quarter for South Carolina. The iconic sabal palm is also the state tree of Florida.

Pledge to the South Carolina State Flag (adopted in 1966):

I salute the flag of South Carolina
and pledge to the Palmetto State
love, loyalty, and faith
Source: State Symbols USA
 
The great seal of the state of South CarolinaSouth Carolina State Facts

Picture: state seal of South Carolina
State Capital Columbia
Nickname Palmetto State
Motto Animis Opibusque Parati (Prepared in Soul and Resources) Dum Spiro Spero (While I breathe, I hope)
Statehood May 23, 1788 (8th)
Origin of Name Taken from"Carolus," the Latin word for Charles and named after England's King Charles I
Largest Cities Columbia, Charleston, North Charleston, Greenville, Spartanburg
Border States Georgia, North Carolina
Area 30,111 sq. mi., 40th largest
State Bird Great Carolina Wren
State Flower Yellow Jessamine (gelsemium sempervirens)
State Tree Cabbage Palmetto (sabal palmetto)
State Song Carolina
Map showing the location of South CarolinaTravel and tourism site for South Carolina - This state travel and territorial tourism site provides ideas for your vacations, meetings, and more.
South Carolina Stories
 
Cowpens Battlefield Fourth of July Event

Some historians say that the battle at Cowpens, near Chesnee, South Carolina, was the single most brilliantly planned and fought battle of the Revolutionary War. This was thanks to a clever strategy on behalf of an American general. Do you know what happened?

During the battle, on January 17, 1781, Brigadier General Daniel Morgan did two things -- he predicted how the British would react and he took advantage of mistakes that the British troops made. At one point, he ordered his men to retreat, and the British, thinking they had won the battle, charged forward. Then, the Americans surrounded the British and defeated them. The victory at Cowpens inspired Americans to continue the war to victory at Yorktown, Virginia.

On the Fourth of July, the National Park Service celebrates at Cowpens National Battlefield with people in period costumes and demonstrations of life and battle during the Revolutionary War. It all ends with a great display of fireworks.
 
Chitlin' Strut

Do you have the "guts" to attend the Chitlin' Strut held every year in Salley, South Carolina? The main focus of this festival is the preparation and consumption of large amounts of chitterlings ("chitlin's") -- otherwise known as boiled hog intestines. The festival began in 1966 because the mayor was looking for a way to raise money for new Christmas decorations for the town of Salley.

Chitlin's are considered a delicacy (a special and desirable food) in South Carolina and other parts of the South. But chitlin's must be prepared carefully. They must be soaked and rinsed thoroughly in several changes of cool water, and repeatedly picked clean, by hand, of extra fat and specks. They are then boiled and simmered until tender. They can be prepared different ways. Standard recipes call for simmering the chitlin's for three to five hours in water seasoned with salt, black pepper, and perhaps hot peppers, along with vinegar and an onion. But everyone has a different recipe. Sometimes they are cooked with hog maws (hog stomach), or fried in a batter.

The festival's popularity has grown steadily from 1,000 people when it started to an average crowd of 40,000 to 60,000 people today, who eat more than 10,000 pounds of chitlin's!
 
Dock Street Theater

The Dock Street Theater in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, may be the single most photographed spot in the city. It is also one of the most important in America. Why? It was the first building in America designed solely for theatrical performances.

But the theater is not the same one that opened in 1736. In 1740, the building was destroyed by fire. When another building was constructed on the site in 1809, it opened as the Planter's Hotel. When the hotel was remodeled in the 1930s, a stage and auditorium in the style of the 18th century were constructed, and the building reopened in 1937 as the Dock Street Theater.

The building now serves its original purpose, and the city of Charleston has retained an important part of its history.
 
The Hallelujah Singers

How much do you know about the Gullah language and culture?

The Gullah language is a blend of West African and European dialects. It is a language spoken by the descendants of slaves on the barrier islands of South Carolina and Georgia. Most of the Gullah vocabulary is of English origin, but grammar and pronunciation come from a number of West African languages, such as Ewe, Mandinka, Igbo, Twi and Yoruba. Some of the African words in Gullah have become English words, such as cooter ("tortoise"), goober ("peanut"), gumbo ("okra"), and juke (as in "jukebox").

The slaves grew rice on the islands. The plantations were overseen by a foreman and rarely visited by people from the mainland. Because these plantations were isolated, they were much less influenced by Euro-American culture, and they retained much of their African culture.

A great way to learn about the Gullah culture is to listen to the Hallelujah Singers, a vocal group from Beaufort, South Carolina, that seeks to preserve the Gullah language and heritage through music. The singers perform traditional plantation songs dating back to the 1600s. Their style combines singing and storytelling to tell the unique history of the Gullah culture and the influence it has on today's culture.

Founded in 1990, the Hallelujah Singers have performed in concerts worldwide and on TV. If you saw the movie "Forrest Gump," then you saw and heard the Hallelujah Singers.
 
Yap Ye Iswa (Day of the Catawba)

The Catawba Indians used to inhabit the territory around the Catawba River in North and South Carolina. In the 17th century the Catawba, which means "people of the river," numbered about 5,000, but by the end of the 20th century there were only about 1,200 descendants of the Catawba, who lived around Rock Hill, South Carolina. The last known speaker of the Catawba language, Red Thunder Cloud, a singer and storyteller, died in January 1996.

The heritage of the Catawba is celebrated by the Catawba Cultural Preservation Project, which holds a festival every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving -- Yap Ye Iswa (Day of the Catawba). The festival is a way for the Catawba to celebrate their culture and share it with people of all backgrounds.

The festival begins with a calling song performed by the River Spirit drum group with the Grand Entry of tribal veterans, dancers and drummers. After the Grand Entry, various tribal drum groups play while tribal dancers perform traditional Catawba dances. A puppet show based on Catawba folklore and in the Catawba language is presented, as well as video presentations on the Catawba culture.
 
Newberry Opera House

What can you do with a building that used to contain, among other things, jail cells and a fire station?

In 1882, the newly built Newberry Opera House housed, on the first floor, two stores, a fire station, a city council chamber, a clerk's office, and a police station. The second floor held a performance hall and stage. Touring companies of New York plays, minstrel and variety shows, famed vocalists and lecturers, magicians, novelty acts and boxing exhibitions appeared on its stage. Meetings, dances, college commencement exercises, and musicals were also held there. In the early 1900s it became especially popular because silent "moving pictures" were shown there. Slowly moving pictures replaced stage shows and in the 1920s the floor was remodeled as a movie theater. The building functioned as a movie theater until 1952.

After the movie theater closed in 1952, some people thought the building should be torn down, while others believed it was an important historical building. Eventually the supporters won and in 1970 the Opera House was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. In the 1990s the city government gave up its space on the first floor, making it possible for the entire building to be renovated and returned to its original use as an opera house and community arts center.

The theater now has 427 theater seats that are historic reproductions, a stage, and a horseshoe-shaped balcony. Since its reopening, performances at the Newberry Opera House have included operas, musicals, jazz concerts, vocal and other performances.
Source: Library of Congress
National Forests, Parks, and Monuments of South Carolina

The following is a description of national forests, parks, and monuments in the state of South Carolina. If you plan to visit or live in South Carolina for awhile then you should definitely plan to visit some of these fantastic places.
 
National Forests
Francis Marion

Francis Marion National Forest is home to 150 mi (240 km) of streams and a variety of wildlife, including the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker. There are four wilderness areas in the forest, and it is managed together with Sumter National Forest.
Sumter

Sumter National Forest contains 22 waterfalls with drops ranging from 12 ft (3.7 m) to 150 ft (46 m) and part of the Ellicott Rock Wilderness, the only wilderness located in three states.
 
National Parks
Congaree

On the Congaree River, this park is the largest portion of old-growth floodplain forest left in North America. Some of the trees are the tallest in the eastern United States. An elevated walkway called the Boardwalk Loop guides visitors through the swamp.
 
National Monuments
Fort Sumter

Fort Sumter is a Third System masonry coastal fortification located in Charleston harbor, South Carolina. It is best known as the site where the shots initiating the American Civil War were fired, at the Battle of Fort Sumter. Nearby Fort Moultrie is a unit of this monument; it was made of palmetto logs and inspired the flag and nickname (Palmetto State) of South Carolina.
Reconstruction Era

Preserves four locations in and near Beaufort, South Carolina—a school, church, firehouse, and the Camp Saxton Site—to commemorate activities during the Reconstruction era that followed the American Civil War.
 
Travel America
Cool America
About the U.S.A.

About the U.S.A. is an American Studies reader that examines the customs, government, and history of the United States of America. The text provides a wealth of information on U.S. geography and history; the roles of local, state, and federal government; national holidays and symbols; the Constitution; and citizenship. The book, which was written for intermediate to advanced learners of English, contains a range of activities for language students to practice listening, speaking, reading, and writing. (opens to a new PDF window) Great English reading practice.
About America

Learn about the fascinating history and government of the United States of America. Lessons include content on American Government, American History, and Integrated Civics. Handouts with interactive games and student-centered activities encompass all four language skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Great English reading practice for beginning to intermediate students.
American Teens Talk!

Americans Teens Talk! is a collection of interviews of American high school students. Each interview is accompanied by vocabulary notes and discussion questions. The interviews in American Teens Talk! give learners a view into the lives of adolescents in the U.S. Through the written format of the interviews, learners are able to increase their vocabulary, practice their reading and listening skills, engage in discussions, and learn more about U.S. culture. These interviews come with audio programs. Great English listening and reading
Sing Out Loud Children's Songs

Sing Out Loud Children's Songs includes popular children's songs in the U.S.A. Posters accompany the individual Sing Out Loud Children's Songs. These songs come with audio programs. Great English listening and reading practice.
Sing Out Loud Traditional Songs

The Sing Out Loud Traditional Songs collection contains 13 traditional American folk songs and song lyrics. Listen to the songs online, read the lyrics, and collect the posters that accompany the songs. These songs come with audio programs. Great English listening and reading practice.
Sing Out Loud American Rhythms

Do you love music? Want to use it to learn English? Check out the hip-hop inspired song "Peace" from Sing Out Loud American Rhythms. American Rhythms includes a variety of musical genres from many different artists in the U.S.A. These songs will appeal to teens and young adults. These songs come with audio programs. Great English listening and reading practice.
Route 66 - Famous American Road

U.S. Route 66 (US 66 or Route 66), also known as the Will Rogers Highway, the Main Street of America or the Mother Road, was one of the original highways in the U.S. Highway System. The highway, which became one of the most famous roads in the United States, originally ran from Chicago, Illinois, through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona before ending in Santa Monica, California, near Los Angeles, covering a total of 2,448 miles (3,940 km). It was recognized in popular culture by both the hit song "(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66" and the Route 66 television show in the 1960s.
Route 66: The Highway That's the Best
(Beginner - Listening)

A video lesson which shows you an interesting place in America.
The English is spoken at 75% of normal speed.
Great English listening practice.
This video shows travel along Route 66, the most famous road in America.
Chicago: The Start of Route 66
(Beginner - Listening)

A video lesson which shows you an interesting place in America.
The English is spoken at 75% of normal speed.
Great English listening practice.
This video shows travel along Route 66, the most famous road in America.
Going West for Decades on Route 66
(Beginner - Listening)

A video lesson which shows you an interesting place in America.
The English is spoken at 75% of normal speed.
Great English listening practice.
This video shows travel along Route 66, the most famous road in America.
Arizona: The Spirit of Route 66
(Beginner - Listening)

A video lesson which shows you an interesting place in America.
The English is spoken at 75% of normal speed.
Great English listening practice.
This video shows travel along Route 66, the most famous road in America.
Route 66 California: The End of the Trail
(Beginner - Listening)

A video lesson which shows you an interesting place in America.
The English is spoken at 75% of normal speed.
Great English listening practice.
This video shows travel along Route 66, the most famous road in America.
Ten Must-See Route 66 Attractions
(Beginner - Listening)

A video lesson which shows you an interesting place in America.
The English is spoken at 75% of normal speed.
Great English listening practice.
This video shows travel along Route 66, the most famous road in America.
Four Famous Foods On Route 66
(Beginner - Listening)

A video lesson which shows you an interesting place in America.
The English is spoken at 75% of normal speed.
Great English listening practice.
This video shows travel along Route 66, the most famous road in America.
International Tourists Drawn to Route 66
(Beginner - Listening)

A video lesson which shows you an interesting place in America.
The English is spoken at 75% of normal speed.
Great English listening practice.
This video shows travel along Route 66, the most famous road in America.
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