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The Scoop | Connections between New York and South Carolina?

June 4, 2020 - Posted in Culture by Andrew Davis
Story idea submitted to The Scoop by Annette Geraghty

A viewer by the name of Annette Geraghty posed a question to South Carolina ETV: "Are there any connections between the states of New York and South Carolina?"

At first glance, it would appear that the two states vastly differ from one another. However, after doing some research, New York and South Carolina do indeed share some connections, and have even influenced one another throughout our country's history.

South Carolina ETV found three ways in which New York and South Carolina connect with one another:

1. History and Tourism

New York and South Carolina were among the oldest colonies here in North America. When the time called for independence from Great Britain, did you know that New York and South Carolina played active roles in the American Revolution? When it comes to the Revolutionary War, New York and South Carolina are often overlooked compared to Massachusetts or Pennsylvania, but key engagements in the war took place in New York and South Carolina: The Battle of Long Island, which took place in modern day Brooklyn, was the largest battle in the entire war, and the famous capture of Fort Ticonderoga in 1775 by Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold took place in Essex County, New York!

South Carolina played an active role in the Revolution as well, most notably with a string of battles known as the Southern Campaign, which took place in the latter half of the war. The Battle of Sullivan's Island, in Charleston, took place mere days before the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, and the Battle of Cowpens in Cherokee County is seen by many historians as the turning point of taking control of South Carolina back from British occupation. Battlefield sites such as the ones mentioned above make for fantastic tourist attractions! Needless to say, New York and South Carolina share a sentiment for patriotism.

2. The Arts

New York and South Carolina have influenced one another when it comes to the fine arts. Painters, composers, musicians, and poets alike have worked interchangeably in both states. One notable painter is Georgia O'Keeffe. Born in Wisconsin, O'Keeffe got her start in the likes of Chicago and New York, but after landing a teaching post at Columbia College, in Columbia, South Carolina, she bonded with Columbia's landscapes, and it is here where she sharpened her skills with a series of charcoal drawings. Her drawings made their way back to New York, which captured the attention of Alfred Stieglitz, and her works are still on display in art galleries in both New York and South Carolina today.

One genre of music New York is known for in particular is jazz. A South Carolinian made a tremendous impact on New York's jazz scene: Dizzy Gillespie, from Cheraw County, South Carolina. Gillespie, known for his trademark pouched cheeks and bent trumpet horn, was a pioneer for modern jazz, and the genre of music called "Bebop".  Gillespie performed in many of New York's venues, including the famed Carnegie Hall. In 1972, Dizzy Gillespie earned the Handel Medal alongside Charlie Chaplin, Harold Arlen, and Elia Kazan. The Handel Medal is New York's most prestigious arts award, which is given to individuals who have greatly impacted New York City's culture.

3. Sports

If there is one thing loved by both New Yorkers and South Carolinians alike, it is sports. Baseball in particular is a celebrated American pastime. As it turns out, a South Carolinian played for the New York Yankees: Bobby Richardson, from Sumter, South Carolina. Richardson played for the Yankees from 1955 to 1966. During his career with the Yankees, he played in eight All-Star games, and was the recipient of five straight "Gold Glove" awards. After his days with the Yankees, Richardson returned to South Carolina where he served as the University of South Carolina's head baseball coach from 1970 to 1976. As head baseball coach, Richardson led the Gamecocks to their first National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tournament appearance in 1974.

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