THINGS THAT PEOPLE ARE AMAZED AT ON MY CHARLESTON TOUR
There are always a few key points that always garner a few gasps, laughs, and "What?!'s" on the tour.
- •The female to male ratio at the College of Charleston is 6 to 1.And we're not sure why. And of course this always gets a few "can I have an application?" from the dirty old man in the back of the bus.
- •You're not allowed to build anything higher than the steeple of St. Matthew's Lutheran Church, which is 265 feet high.This is one of many architectural mandates in the downtown area. We are free of skyscrapers and as you drive into town, church steeples make up quite a bit of our skyline, which I happen to think is pretty.
- •The story of the H. L. Hunley, the first submarine to be successfully used in combat.It IS an incredible story of bravery or foolishness, depending on your perspective. Too long to explain here.
- •No one died in the first battle of the Civil War.The battle for Fort Sumter lasted 34 hours with no fatalities.
- •However, the first fatality came shortly after, during the 100 gun salute as the Federal soldiers were leaving Fort Sumter.One of the guns backfired, killing a Federal soldier, making this the first fatality of the war.
- •How terrible the conditions were at The Old City Jail while it was in use.The book written on it's history is called "The Jail of Doom". If you were a woman who got arrested in Charleston and you didn't have anyone to take your children, they just brought the children in with you so there were always entire families being held there.
- •How the dance The Charleston got it's name.It originated with The Jenkins Orphanage Band who traveled to New York often to perform during the Harem renaissance period. During one performance, an audience member yelled out "Hey Charleston kids, do that Charleston dance!" It stuck and became part of their routine.