85 South Carolina Facts And Weird Laws

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South Carolina is a unique state located in the Southeastern United States.

The state has golf parks, water parks, stage shows, holiday resorts, scenic beaches, and some of the rarest animals in the nation.

You can begin your tour at Charleston harbor and visit the fort where the Civil War started. The peaceful Caesar Head State Park is another destination packed with beautiful views in the state.

Whether you want a romantic train ride, fishing, or a visit to the planetarium with your kids, South Carolina is the place.

Here are the  South Carolina Facts even locals would love to know.

Best Fun Facts About South Carolina

  1. The Colony of Carolina was named after King Charles I, while Charleston got its name from King Charles II.
  2. South Carolina was the Iodine state before it became the Palmetto State.
  3. The Charleston earthquake of 1886 is the deadliest earthquake to hit South Carolina.
  4. Only California produces more peaches than South Carolina in the nation.
  5. Charleston, South Carolina, was home to the nation’s first symphony orchestra.
  6. Charleston was home to the first public museum.
  7. South Carolina has the world’s largest ginkgo farm.
Credits: Unsplash

South Carolina Facts—Politics And Government

  1. South Carolina is a Conservative Republican state. The Party controls both the houses of the general assembly. 
  2. The South Carolina government consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches.
  3. Before 1865, the South Carolina General Assembly appointed the state governors known as the “President of State .”The 1865 Constitution shifted to the popular election system.
  4. The 1867 Constitution brought home rule to the state’s counties. 
  5. The Election law journal ranked South Carolina 7th hardest regarding ease of voting.
  6. The state’s current governor is a Republican, Henry McMaster, who assumed office after Nikki Haley resigned.
  7. The governor of South Carolina and lieutenant governor run on a joint ticket. Before the 2018 election, they ran on separate tickets.
  8. South Carolina holds a different election for the members of the cabinet. In most states, the governor appoints the cabinet.
  9. The 46 Senators of the General Assembly serve four-year terms, while the 124 South Carolina House of Representatives members serve for two years.
  10. The state’s top court is the South Carolina Supreme Court. Its justices serve 10-year terms with no limit on the number of terms. 
  11. The retirement age of the South Carolina Supreme Court judges is 72 years.
  12. The state has 9 electoral votes in the electoral college.

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South Carolina Facts—History

  1. There were people already living in South Carolina 50,000 years ago. 
  2. Catawba and Cherokee Native American Tribes were living in present-day South Carolina when the Europeans arrived.
  3. Other Native American tribes who inhabited this region included the Sioux, Yamasee, Apalachee, and Yuchi. These nations were farmers and heavily relied on agriculture.
  4. The Spanish became the first Europeans to explore South Carolina.
  5. In 1526, the Spanish established the first European settlement in the Contiguous United States near Georgetown, South Carolina –at San Miguel de Gualdape.
  6. Hernando de Soto also visited the South Carolina territory in 1540. 
  7. The French, who ran away from the horrors of religion’s wars, settled in Parris Island. 
  8. King Charles I of England founded the province of Carolina in 1629. This province consisted of Georgia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina.
  9. King Charles II repaid a debt to eight lords proprietors by granting them land rights to the province of Carolina. 
  10. Antony Ashley Cooper, one of the lord proprietors, drafted the Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina. The “Father of Liberalism,” John Locke inspired him.
  11. The Province of Carolina had the largest slave trade in the British North American colonies.
  12. The Province of Carolina split up, forming North Carolina and South Carolina in 1712.
  13. South Carolina became a royal colony in 1719.
  14. South Carolina was one of the richest colonies of the 13 British colonies in the 1700s.
  15.  John Rutledge became South Carolina’s first president in 1776. 
  16. South Carolina, in 1778, became the first US state to approve the Articles of Confederation.
  17. The state achieved statehood in 1788, becoming the 8th state to gain admission into the Union.
  18. Nearly a third of the combat action occurred in South Carolina during the American Revolution.
  19. Columbia, the state capital of South Carolina, grew largely because of the Santee Canal, which connected it to Charleston. Santee Canal is one of the nation’s first canals.
Credits: Unsplash
  1. South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union following Abraham Lincoln’s election in 1860.
  2. The state sent more than 60,000 people to fight in the American Civil War, crippling its economy. 
  3. Did you know that William Tecumseh Sherman and his troops destroyed plantations in South Carolina after the American Civil War ended? This act further paralyzed the state’s economy.
  4. South Carolina rejoined the Union in 1868 after the Civil War.

South Carolina Facts—Geography 

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  1. South Carolina is the 11th smallest state with 32,020 square miles.
  2. Also known as the Palmetto State, South Carolina lies in the Southeast region of the United States. 
  3. The state borders North Carolina, Georgia, and the Atlantic Ocean. The Savannah River forms the Southwestern border with Georgia.
  4. The Piemont, Blue Ridge Mountains, and Atlantic Coastal Plains form the three natural regions of the Palmetto State.
  5. These three geographical areas of the state split into five smaller regions: Lowcountry, Pee Dee, Midlands (lower Piedmont), Piedmont (upper Piedmont), and the Upstate.
  6. The Atlantic Coastal Plains make up more than half of the state.
  7. The Atlantic Seaboard fall line, between the upcountry and Lowcountry, is the limit of navigable rivers.
  8. The Atlantic Coastal Plains consist of Rocks, Carolina Bays, estuaries, salt marshes, ports of Charleston and Georgetown, and the Middle Atlantic Coastal Forest Ecoregion.
Daufuskie Island. Credits: Unsplash
  1. The Carolina Sandhills are a common feature in the state’s Atlantic Coastal Plain region.
  2. In the Appalachian mountains, Sassafras Mountain is South Carolina’s highest point at 3,560 feet above sea level.
  3. South Carolina’s major lakes are mostly artificial. They cover 683 square miles of the state.
  4. The state’s lakes include Lake Marion, Lake Strom Thurmond, Lake Moultrie, and Lake Murray.
  5. The Charleston earthquake in 1886 was the deadliest earthquake to hit Palmetto State.
  6. South Carolina has a humid subtropical climate with hot and humid summers. Winter temperatures vary depending on the region.
Credits: Imgflip
  1. Autumn and Spring are wetter than the other seasons in South Carolina.
  2.  South Carolina is vulnerable to tornadoes and tropical cyclones. Hurricane Hugo and Hurricane Hazel are two of the strongest hurricanes to hit this state.

South Carolina Facts—Animals And Plants Life

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  1. The state animal of South Carolina is the white-tailed deer. The animal is common in the state.
  2. The animals living in South Carolina include the hoary bat, skunks, black bears, minks, alligators, frogs, raccoons, and opossums, among others.
  3. South Carolina has 47 state parks and 7 national parks, which are home to most animals in this state.
  4. South Carolina has a state bird (Carolina wren), state duck (wood duck), and state wild game (wild turkey).
  5. South Carolina is home to marine mammals such as the sperm whale,  bottlenose dolphin (state marine mammal), and porpoise.
  6. Bobcat is the only big cat living in Palmetto State.
  7. The state’s birds include plovers, oystercatchers, pelicans, skimmers, terns, and seagulls. 
  8. The most dangerous animals in South Carolina include bull sharks, black bears, copperhead snakes, white-tailed deer, great white sharks, and bees.
  9. Shortnose sturgeon, Carolina heel splitter, Pine Barrens Tree Frog, and the North Atlantic Right whale are some of the most endangered animals in this state.
Angel Oak Tree. Credits: Unsplash
  1. South Carolina is home to live oak, cabbage palmetto, bald cypress, American Holly, Longleaf pine, and hickory.
  2. South Carolina’s state symbols for plants include state grass (Indian grass), state flower (Yellow Jessamine), state wildflower (goldenrod), state tree (Sabal Palmetto), and state vegetable (Collard).

South Carolina Facts—Demographics

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  1. South Carolina has the 23rd largest population in the US–5,118,425.
  2. Charleston, Columbia, and North Charleston are three of the major cities in the state.
  3. South Carolina ranks 19th in the country by population density–nearly 154 people per square mile.
  4. Richland and Greenville are two of the most populated counties in the state.
  5. Christianity is the dominant religious affiliation with 78% of the population.
  6. Whites are the dominant racial composition in South Carolina (67%), followed by Black or African Americans.
  7. South Carolina’s black or African American population is the 5th largest.
Credits: Unsplash
  1. African Americans are the state’s largest ancestry group, followed by American, English, German, and Irish.
  2. Morgan Island is known as Monkey Island because only monkeys inhabit it.
  3. Wassamassaw and Hannah are two palindromic places in South Carolina.
  4.  Over 90% of the residents of South Carolina speak English as the only language.

South Carolina Facts—Economy

  1. South Carolina ranked 42nd in long-term fiscal stability with economy (18) and natural environment(26) as its main attributes.
  2. Through its agricultural sector, South Carolina produces tobacco, cotton, poultry, soybean, cattle, hay, rice, swine, and dairy products.
  3. Charleston, South Carolina, Is home to Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner final manufacturing plants. 
  4. The state has 11 interstates and highways, making it the 4th largest state-maintained transport system.
Credits: Unsplash
  1. South Carolina is one of the nation’s largest producers of peaches.
  2. Ridgeway was home to the world’s smallest police station.
  3. Charleston was home to the US first golf game.
  4. South Carolina is the birthplace of sweetgrass basketry. 
  5. Wadmalaw, South Carolina, is home to the nation’s only commercial tea farm, American Classic Tea.
  6. South Carolina is the only state in the US that owns and operates its school bus fleet.
  7. Charleston, South Carolina, is home to the US first playhouse, museum, and public college.
  8. Summersville in South Carolina is home to the nation’s first sweet tea.

Famous Locations in South Carolina

  1. Charleston’s Historic District houses the Aiken-Rhett House and the Nathaniel Russel House. While you are still in Charleston, you may visit the Old Slave Mart Museum and Old Exchange Building to appreciate the city’s history. The basket ladies in Charleston City Market are artists in their craft.
  2. Myrtle Beach is famous for scenic beaches, musical shows, and rides.
  3. South Carolina Plantation Gardens, including Boone Hall Plantation and Magnolia Plantation.
  4. Hilton Head Island has golf courses and sandy beaches.
  5. Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor is where the American Civil War began.
  6. USS Yorktown in Patriots Point is the US Navy’s 10th aircraft carrier.
  7. Caesars Head State Park, located in Cleveland, is home to the overlook and Raven cliff Falls trails.
  8. Raven Cliff Falls is a scenic destination. Raven Cliff Falls is the tallest waterfall in South Carolina.

Famous People From South Carolina

  1. Viola Davis, the actress, was born in St. Matthews, South Carolina.
Image: AlloCine
  1. Big Show, the actor & WWE wrestler, was born in Aiken, South Carolina.
  2. Chadwick Boseman, the actor, was born in Anderson, South Carolina.
  3. Kevin Garnett, the NBA star, was born in Mauldin, South Carolina.
Image: Tribune de Genève
  1. Jaimie Alexander, the actress, was born in Greenville, South Carolina.
Image: Heroic Hollywood

Common Misconceptions About South Carolina 

Here are the most common misconceptions about South Carolina

South Carolina is mostly soybeans and cotton fields

No, there are opera houses, art galleries, and so much more in South Carolina.

Everyone lives in the coastal region

South Carolina has beautiful beaches, but not everyone in this region.

South Carolinians hate their state

No, they are proud of their state. Don’t let their complaints mislead you.

Weird Laws in South Carolina

Here are our top 10 weird laws in South Carolina. Read the Craziest Laws in the United States, if you want more.

  1. Railroad Companies may be held responsible for scaring horses.
  2. You need permission to fire a missile. (Where will you get the missile?)
  3. It’s illegal for a railroad to remove itself from a town with over 500 people. 
  4. Only light bulbs may be sold on Sundays.
  5. You shouldn’t play pinball if you’re not 18. 
  6. Urinating in the waters of parks is unlawful.
  7. You may need permission to change clothes in the gas station.
  8. You may dress your horses in pants all the time.
  9. You must marry the woman you promised to marry. 
  10. It’s illegal to keep your horse in a bathtub.
Image: BioBuddle Pets

Final Thoughts

As you can see, South Carolina is the place to be when you want to learn history, enjoy a romantic ride, practice deep-sea fishing, or play golf.

What is the most interesting Fact about South Carolina? 

South Carolina Stats And Facts

CapitalColumbia
Population2020 (5,118,425)
GovernorHenry McMaster (Republican Party)
Date Of AdmissionMarch 26, 1776
U.S. SenatorsLindsey Graham(R)
Tim Scott(R)
US House of Representatives7(of 435 Seats) 
State NicknamePalmetto State
State Motto“Dum Spiro Spero, ” for ” While I Breathe, I Hope.””Animis Opibusque Parati, ” for ” Prepared in Mind and Resources.”
State Song“South Carolina on My Mind, ” by Hank Martin and Buzz Arledge
State FlowerYellow Jessamine
State FishStriped Bass
State BirdCarolina Wren
State TreeSabal Palm
State AnimalWhite-tailed deer
State DrinkMilk
State ColorIndigo Blue
State GemAmethyst
State FossilColumbian Mammoth
Neighbor StatesNorth Carolina Georgia

Frequently Asked Questions

What is unique about South Carolina

  • Beaches.
  • Golf Courses.
  • Peaches.
  • Historic Districts.

What are the 5 most interesting facts about South Carolina?

  1. South Carolina is the birthplace of American barbecue.
  2. South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union.
  3. South Carolina is home to a monkey colony—Morgan Island.
  4. One of the nation’s trees is in Charleston.
  5. South Carolina is one of the leading producers of peaches in the nation.

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References

[1] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_South_Carolina

[2] https://worldpopulationreview.com/states/south-carolina-population

[3] https://www.dnr.sc.gov/wildlife/species.html

[4] https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/south-carolina


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Editor
Sabrina is a former campaign manager who has decided to focus her effort to help people contact senators and get help. She leads our Editorial Team with Ronald and Lawrence to curate content and resources that help us navigate the system.

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