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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.

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Remembering the Days: Heading east

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.

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Remembering the Days: Tales from the President's House, part 2

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.

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Remembering the Days: Tales from the President's House, part 1

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.

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Remembering the Days: Born a slave -- Matilda Pinckney's story

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. 

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Remembering the Days: Books before buildings

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.

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Remembering the Days: Call it courage -- the story of Chester Travelstead

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.

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Remembering the Days: The Full Monty, Gamecock style

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.

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Remembering the Days: Seeing Stars, the university's 3 observatories

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.

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Remembering the Days: Larger than life, Richard T. Greener

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.

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Remembering the Days: Paving the Horseshoe Pathways

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.

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Remembering the Days: Dress Codes and Curfews

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. 

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Remembering the Days: Pranking the Tiger

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.

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Remembering the Days: The Roaring '20s

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. 

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Podcast Episode 12: Mighty Oaks of the Horseshoe

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.

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Podcast Episode 8: Month of May, 1970

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.

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Podcast Episode 7: Co-ed campus

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. 

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Podcast Episode 6: 19th century campus pranks

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.

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Podcast Bonus Episode: The Carolina Quarantine of 1918

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.

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Podcast Episode 5: Looking for Jack

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.

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Podcast Bonus Episode: The Carolinian Creed

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.

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Podcast Episode 4: Getting in, admission standards then and now

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.

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Podcast Episode 3: A Chemical Reaction

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.

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Podcast Episode 2: The Great Wall of Carolina

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.

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Podcast Episode 1: Why are we Gamecocks?

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.