When it was dedicated in 1855, the building we now know as Longstreet Theater was already a disappointment. The audience gathered could scarcely understand what was being said because of the poor acoustics. So how did this echo chamber eventually become the premier stage for live theater at the university? Sound engineering!
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- Remembering the Days
Remembering the Days
Amble across the Horseshoe and take a stroll down more than 200 years of memory lane with Remembering the Days, a University of South Carolina podcast. We tell the stories of everything from campus pranks in the 19th century to how we became known as Gamecocks. It’s the always interesting, sometimes quirky history of an institution that has been part of the fabric of the Palmetto State since it opened its doors in 1805 and eventually became South Carolina’s flagship university.
For much of the first half of the 19th century, students at South Carolina College were not pleased with the quality of food served on campus. In 1852, the wormy biscuits and rancid meat were too much to stomach, so the students issued an ultimatum — that ultimately gave them a case of indigestion.
JFK once had a bad night's rest in the President's House, and Burt Bacharach tickled the ivories there. Pope John Paul II addressed a crowd of thousands packed onto the Horseshoe. This trip down memory lane has us remembering some of the famous visitors who've come to campus over the years.
He loved fly fishing and bird hunting and wrote numerous tales about both of those sporting passions. And when he wasn't doing those things, Havilah Babcock was in the classroom, a favorite English professor for generations of students at the University of South Carolina.
Were there always so many squirrels on the Horseshoe? And how else has campus changed in the past 200 years in regards to insects, birds, snakes and such? Take a stroll with naturalist-in-residence Rudy Mancke to learn what's changed and still changing in the natural world of campus.
Like other universities across the nation, the University of South Carolina needed more land in the 1960s to keep up with skyrocketing student enrollment brought on by the Baby Boom. In a previous episode, we talked about the campus migration that created the east campus in the middle of the University Hill neighborhood. This episode explores the underpinnings of the campus expansion into Ward One and Wheeler Hill, which were largely obliterated by 'urban renewal' efforts that acquired more land for the university.
When students at the University of South Carolina elected a new Student Government president in 1971, the event made national news. That's because, just eight years after the university was desegregated, an African American student won the election, riding a wave of support from white and Black students who were tired of the "establishment" and "the system."
In the late 19th century, students at South Carolina College who were stalwart members of the institution's two debate societies felt that their clubs were threatened by the presence of fraternities on campus. They contrived a way to boot the Greek letter organizations off campus, but the ploy ultimately failed.
University Terrace Apartments began as a federal housing project, and became married student housing after they were acquired by the University of South Carolina. Alumni Joe and Missie Walker reminisce on what life was really like in their first humble abode.
When the Gamecocks take to the football field every fall, Williams-Brice Stadium roars with the full-throated spirit of 80,000-plus diehard fans, a battalion of marching band members, cheerleaders, baton twirlers and dancers and a hyperkinetic mascot, Cocky. It’s a far cry from the first football game played on the University of South Carolina campus in 1898 when a few hundred fans huddled on simple wooden bleachers beside a field situated where the Russell House Student Union now stands.
Since its inception more than 200 years ago, the University of South Carolina has had three different names and several nicknames. But Juliet was right — that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
The University of South Carolina experienced enormous enrollment growth in the 1960s and began expanding its campus in several directions. Its move eastward into the University Hill neighborhood greatly expanded the campus footprint, but also stirred tensions with the residents when construction on the high-rise Capstone House began.
Patricia Moore-Pastides and her husband, Harris Pastides, the 28th president of the university, lived in the President's House for 11 years with thousands of college students as their closest neighbors. Patricia has a few favorite stories about that experience.
The President's House on the historic Horseshoe has been home to every university president since 1952. Patricia Moore-Pastides, who lived in the house as university first lady for 11 years, talked with the now-grown children of those former presidents to find out what life was like for them during their years in the President's House.
In the long history of schoolteachers in South Carolina, Matilda Pinckney's story stands out. Born a slave on the historic Horseshoe at the University of South Carolina, Pinckney was later trained at a Normal School on the university campus and would go on to a 30-plus year career as an educator.
From its founding in the early 19th century, the University of South Carolina was keenly interested in building a library collection to properly educate its students. Since then, the library's holdings have become a treasure trove that includes rare books and special collections that attract scholars from around the world.
The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled in 1954 that racial segregation of school children was unconstitutional. When South Carolina's segregationist governor spoke out against that ruling, the School of Education dean at the University of South Carolina courageously spoke up. The dean kept his integrity — but not his job.
In the spring semester of 1974, streaking became the latest fad to hit college campuses, and for about one week, the University of South Carolina held the record for the largest number of streakers — 508. Here are the bare facts of the event.
Nearly 150 years before the original Star Trek TV series came to be, South Carolina College built its first observatory to boldly go where no one had — wait, it wasn't that dramatic! But that 1817 observatory made way for another campus observatory building in 1852 and still another in 1928. That last one, the Melton Memorial Observatory, is still going strong today, offering spectacular views of the night-time skies on clear Monday evenings.
He was the University of South Carolina's first Black professor and the first Black graduate of Harvard College. But Richard T. Greener's accomplishments in the years after the Civil War far exceeded those "firsts." No wonder there's a statue in his likeness on campus.
Ninety years ago, the pathways crisscrossing the Horseshoe were dusty when the weather was dry and muddy when it rained. Then a young English professor devised a campaign to convert the paths into proper brick sidewalks without any funding from the state.
Dress codes and curfews persisted at the University of South Carolina until well into the 1960s, but in the waning years were mainly focused on female students. Kit Smith, a 1967 graduate, recalls the dire consequences of returning to campus 15 minutes late.
The Carolina-Clemson football game of 1961 was a close game that ended with an exciting goal-line stand, but this story is about what took place before the game ever started — what’s been hailed as one of the best pranks ever pulled in the history of college football.
University of South Carolina architect Derek Gruner says walking across the Carolina campus is like a visual lesson in American architecture from the past two centuries. Join us for a stroll and learn more about some of the university's most iconic buildings.
Buckle up for a time traveling excursion to 1840 and a sensory experience of 19th century life on campus.
Remembering the Days podcast Episode 14: What was it like in America and on the Carolina campus a hundred years ago during the Roaring '20s? Contrary to popular belief, not everyone was having a roaring good time, but that memorable decade brought lasting change to the university and the nation.
What began as "a wilderness of lofty pines and wild shrubs" in the early 1800s became a refined college quadrangle now known as the Horseshoe. Join us for a short walk among these shady trees — and learn how you can have your very own piece of this paradise.
Forty years ago, Cocky was born. But that feisty garnet-feathered bird wasn't the University of South Carolina's first mascot. Episode 11.
In May 1970 America was turned upside down amid anti-Vietnam War protests, including a deadly confrontation between National Guardsmen and students at Kent State University. The University of South Carolina wasn't immune to the societal unrest, and things turned ugly on campus in several incidents 50 years ago this month.
For the past 40 years, women have outnumbered men in the University of South Carolina's student body. But the history of women on campus goes back to the institution's beginning, long before women were even allowed to attend.
Painting the college president's horse green, removing wooden steps from the only building on campus, serenading professors with tin pans — those were just some of the pranks that students pulled at South Carolina College in the 19th century. Campus archivist Elizabeth West explains why those free-spirited students often rebelled against the puritanical rules imported from New England colleges.
Today's COVID-19 landscape of quarantines and sickness bring to mind another pandemic — the 1918 influenza outbreak that hit hard on the University of South Carolina campus. One young student, Gadsden Shand, answered the call of duty and helped keep many of his classmates alive.
The history of enslaved people at South Carolina College — the precursor of today's University of South Carolina — is a difficult one to tell. But research has brought to light the names of many of those individuals, and the university is acknowledging the vital role they played in the college's early days. Here's the story of one of those enslaved workers — a man named Jack.
Written 30 years ago by students, professors and staff members, the Carolinian Creed embodies the University of South Carolina's core values of respect, integrity and kindness. The creed became a model for scores of other colleges and universities around the country.
How difficult was it to get admitted to the University of South Carolina in 1897? At that time, regrettably, only white students were admitted. Students also had to know grammar, geography, algebra, history — and Latin and Greek! Admission standards at the university have varied in the past two centuries. The bar for admission is a lot different than it was in 1897, but it guarantees that those who get in are ready to succeed.
When Professor Richard Brumby asked his chemistry students in 1850 to attend extra lectures, you'd have thought by their agitated reaction that he had asked them to jump off of a cliff. What resulted was a mob scene, a textbook bonfire and suspension of nearly the entire junior class of students at South Carolina College.
It's nearly seven feet tall, 3,000 feet long and is made of 160,000 bricks. And it's older than half of the buildings on the University of South Carolina's historic Horseshoe. It's the campus wall, a structure that never succeeded in its original purpose — keeping mischievous 19th century students on campus. But during one tumultuous night in 1865, the wall very likely saved the campus from a fire that consumed one-third of the surrounding city.
Of all the mascots the University of South Carolina might have chosen, how did the gamecock — a feisty bird that relishes a scuffle — get the nod? It all goes back to the aftermath of a football game in 1902 in which Carolina students nearly came to deadly blows with their in-state rival.