150 Years Later: Columbia, South Carolina wants the world to remember it also burned down in the Civil War

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To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Burning of Columbia, Columbia’s cultural institutions have come together to present a full day of events on Tuesday, Feb. 17 exploring the events of February 17, 1865, as well as the immediate and long-term ramifications of the burning of South Carolina’s capital city.

The day will begin at 9 a.m. with Columbia Burning: A Sesquicentennial Reappraisal, a symposium featuring scholars and authors discussing the burning of Columbia and civic dialogue on difficult pasts, as well as a period luncheon and presentation on 19th-century foodways. At 4 p.m., the SC Department of Archives and History will unveil the official historical marker for the burning on the 1200 block of Main Street. At 5 p.m., the official commemoration ceremony will be held in Boyd Plaza, featuring speakers, music, poets and the premier of two performance art pieces created for the occasion. Following the ceremony, attendees can explore exhibitsperformancesreadings and more on Main Street.

“The University of South Carolina, with its outstanding public history program, excellent faculty, and commitment to university-community partnerships, takes seriously its responsibility to work with citizens and scholars to help puzzle through a fraught and difficult chapter of our city’s, our region’s, and our nation’s past with the best research and interpretive framework available,” said Jessica Elfenbein, senior associate dean of the University of South Carolina Graduate School.

Although often overshadowed in the popular imagination by the burning of Atlanta, Ga., the burning of Columbia, S.C. on the evening of February 17, 1865 was a major event in American history and a defining moment in the history of the state, city and the Civil War. Through a multi-disciplinary coalition of organizations and agencies, a two-month-long initiative is currently underway to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the burning through lectures, tours, films, exhibits, literature, public discussions and visual and performing arts. The events planned for Tuesday, Feb. 17 are below. Find more information and a full list of commemorative events at BurningofColumbia.com.

"The commemoration events on February 17 help us as Columbians reflect on the impact of the events of 150 years ago and explore Columbia's identity through historic recollection and artistic interpretation,” said Lee Snelgrove, executive director of One Columbia for Arts and History. “And, the events will emphasize to those visiting that Columbia continues to emergence as a modern, thriving capital city."

Read entire article at Press Release -- Historic Columbia

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