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Timeline of Colonial South Carolina

1975 - May 1995


Accompanied by an armada of pleasure and fishing craft, the aircraft carrier Yorktown arrives to anchor the maritime museum at Patriots Point.

May 1977

The first Spoleto Festival USA is held, and Charleston is designated the permanent American home for this "Festival of Two Worlds." Spoleto Festival USA begins its first season with rave reviews. Deriving its name from a similar event in Spoleto, Italy, the festival offers dance, opera, plays, chamber music concerts, jazz and much more in a city wide celebration.

May 1982

The construction of Charleston Place, a hotel-shopping-convention center, sets off a building and rehabilitation boom in the downtown business district.

Sep 21 1989

Hurricane Hugo, a powerful category 4 hurricane with winds of 131-155 mph slams into the city with a 12-17 foot wall of water rolling over Ft. Sumter around midnight. The barrier islands are inundated as an estimated 80% of homes on Sullivan's Island and Folly Island are badly damaged or destroyed . Many homes in the Historic District sustain 10 to 24 inches of flooding. While about three quarters of the 3,500 significant structures suffer some damage, only twenty-five historically important buildings are severely damaged. Total losses are estimated at $2.8 billion.


The Visitors Reception and Transportation Center opens, culminating some 12 years of planning and 3 years of construction. Located in a renovated 1850s railroad building, the modern facility provides a central location by which the visitor can plan his or her exploration of Charleston.

Aug 21 1992

Lowcountry receives a jolt but little damage from an earthquake measuring 4.1 on the Richter Scale; the epicenter located near Middleton Place close to the devastating 1886 quake.

May 1995

Author Clive Cussler announces that his team of divers has discovered the wreck of the Confederate Submarine H. L. Hunley in the waters off Sullivan's Island.

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