Visit to Washington, D.C.

By Ken Wilson

U.S. Air Force via Getty Images

Now this is a story all about how my life got flipped turned upside down and I’d like to take a minute, just keeping reading and see and I’ll tell you how about my 8th grade trip to Washington, D.C.

Bear with me, this trip was about 7 years ago in March of 2010. This trip was restricted for to just students that were in any AAP (Advanced Academic Program) level Social Studies course at my middle school, Heyward Gibbes. They took about 50 or so students with about 7 teachers all of whom taught us at some point or another. They were all history fanatics or like us could use the break from school. We were set to go for 4 days and 3 nights so that we could truly soak up what nation’s capital had to offer us. But now let me get to the trip.

So, our trip started with our parents getting us to school to leave on a charter bus at about 8:30 in the morning. For someone like me this trip would be the farthest I had ever traveled outside of South Carolina. Still to this day as I am writing this in November I have not gotten the opportunity to travel far and wide…yet. The car ride was very tough for me because I had never been in a moving anything for more than 2 hours so to be on a charter bus with 50 other people for a little more than 8 hours was a new experience for me. When we got there the first place we stopped was our hotel to drop off our stuff. If I remember right I believe we stayed at a Hilton Hotel.

Union Station, Image courtesy of Trip Savvy

After dropping off stuff, stretching our legs, using the restroom and taking in the beauty that was truly this city, we visited Union Station where we got the opportunity to visit all of the different shops and restaurants located in just that location. I remember it being very big and sort of intimidating but in a good way and that is saying something considering I’ve always been a big guy, myself. Our night didn’t end with just Union Station because after we finished there we went night sight-seeing around the city and got up the public area behind the White House. It was a sight that I’ll never forget because it was right there, erected in front of me. The other great thing about walking around D. C. at night is that we didn’t have a tour guide so we were free to explore as much of the city (as long as our teachers could see us!) as we wanted. That first night was so breathtaking from the moment it started to the moment I laid down to sleep that night.

Image from Air and Space Museum website

The next day was just as exciting because we went to the Smithsonian Museum that focused on Air and Space. It was exhilarating to see that there was a whole place dedicated to showcasing how far we as humans have come in exploring our worlds from aerial views. After that we went to the National Museum of African Art which was really exciting especially because everyone on the trip except two of my teachers happen to be of color and we were able to experience firsthand a facet of African culture. We saw artwork in the forms of traditional African island mask and videos of recorded African ritual dancing.

I’ll have to explore the rest of the trip in another blog.

National History Day

NHDBy Tori Peck

What is National History Day?

It is an event that is independently sponsored by organizations that will hold local and state competitions where elementary, middle school and secondary school students present historical research done on a predetermined topic. Around 3,000 students attend the final competition and they come from all around the world. There are students from all fifty states along with students from Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, China, Korea, and South Asia.

SC student performance at 2017 Nationals

These students are mentored by a teacher, and that teacher gets to join the students at the competitions.  They can also present work as an individual or group. The research can be presented in many forms including; papers, websites, plays/ performances, documentaries, and exhibits. They are then judged on presentation, explanation, and content. This year the winners of the state competitions will get a chance to compete in the National contest held at the University of Maryland, College Park from June 10th to the 14th.

The goals of NHD

The goal of National History Day is to get students involved with history and to get them to delve deep into a topic that would normally only be covered briefly in the classroom. It teaches students important life skills like collaborating and teamwork, listen to advise from mentors, and critical thinking. It also helps prepare them for the future. They learn presentation skills, how to take critiques, and teaches them good researching skills. National History Day wants to encourage students of all age groups to be involved with history and take a hands on approach to learning about it.

SC student’s exhibit at 2017 Nationals


Winners of National History Day and participants who covered a subject well can be awarded a number of prices. Different groups give prizes depending on the subject of the work done by the student. Examples include the Women’s history prize sponsored by the National Women’s History Museum, the Global Peace Prize sponsored by the U.S. Institute of Peace, the Discovery or Exploration in History prize which is sponsored by the Library of Congress, and many more. To find out which special prizes are available at affiliate and local contests, the affiliate coordinator can be contacted. Along with special prizes three collegiate scholarships are awarded at the National History Day Completion. Certain requirements need to be met before being eligible for these awards. An official transcript needs to be sent to the location of the NHD competition as well as an essay answering questions about the student’s history day experience and future plans. The colleges that award scholarships are Case Western Reserve University, University of Maryland, and Chaminade University.

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Students speaking with different institutions at a Fall 2017 workshop at Coastal

Volunteers and the community

National History Day relies heavily on volunteers and the community. To set up for a regional competition takes planning and hours of work. All the judges are volunteers. They are people who live in the community and who have some authority on the subject. For a local competition, a judge can be anyone from a college student majoring in history to a local high school teacher. Judging is done in pairs and then discussed and compared to scores given by other judges. With local and state completions occurring all around the world it would be impossible to run NHD without volunteers.


“Affiliates.” 2016.,

“The National Contest.” 2016.

“2017 South Carolina History Day”. 2017.

Images courtesy of South Carolina National History Day coordinator Angela Dembiczak


Magic: A Brief History

By Tim Greving

Magic: the Gathering is a card game that was first printed in 1993 and created by Richard Garfield. The game is played with two or more people that usually start at twenty life, a player wins by reducing their opponent(s) to zero life.  New Magic cards are still being printed today, though they are vastly different than the cards that were originally printed.

The card on the left was printed in 1993 while the card on the right was printed in 2015. The cards are not only used to play but too collect. Many people do not actually play the game and collect the cards like they are works of art. In history the “Mona Lisa” is considered to be the work of art. In Magic, there is a card similar to the “Mona Lisa”, it is an Alpha Edition Black Lotus.

lotusWhile the “Mona Lisa” is priceless, an Alpha Black Lotus is not. A Black Lotus from Alpha can be sold at anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000 depending on the quality of the card. While a Lotus is the crown jewel of a collection, money value is not the only thing that determines the value of cards. In my personal collection I have a Mountain signed by the artist. It is priceless to me, and I value it higher than some of the game’s most expensive cards.

Most people play the game for fun, while other play the game competitively and to make money. There is a Pro Tour series that players can play in, the Pro Tour events are held in various cities around the world and take place two weeks after a new set is released. The Pro Tour has been taking place since 1996 and there are generally three to four PT events that happen each year. With the tournament’s winner taking home $50,000. The PT is when the Legends of the magic community are made, one legend is Jon Finkel. He is considered a Magic legend because of his sheer amount of success he has in the Pro Tour. Finkel has 16 Pro Tour top 8s, which is top 8 players after playing 16 rounds of Swiss play, and winning 3 of the 16 he has played in. Besides the Pro Tour there are Grand Prixes held on the weekends when there are not Pro Tour events. Along with tournaments held officially by Wizards (the company that is over Magic) there is the Star City Games Open tournaments.magic tourny

Tournaments are great places to play games of Magic, create legends, and show off collections, they are also a great place to make friends are create a community. When people get together it promotes discussion, not only about the game but about different political and personal issues. Personally, I have made some amazing friends through Magic and have gotten to learn different stories from different people, whether it be personal stories or stories based on the card game.


Gatherer – Magic: The Gathering,

Lincoln Giants

By Lontay Greene

Olympic Field sprouted the roots of a baseball team in New York, that would hold as much cultural impact in the Harlem Renaissance as the singers, poets, and writers. The Lincoln Giants entered the scene of Harlem in the year 1911, under the co-ownership of Jess and Edward McMahon.

teamThe Lincoln Giants were not the first baseball team to enter the New York area, but were the first black baseball team to emerge. The Giants shared to city with the neighboring Major League Baseball team, the New York Highlanders, that were the Major Leagues before they were integrated. The New York Highlanders of Manhattan would later become the New York Yankees while the Lincoln Giants would still be a staple in the black and white communities.

You could guarantee on any given Sunday that you would find great crowds meeting on Sunday 136th Street and 5th Avenue of a heterogenous mixing of men, women, and children coming to watch their home town team come play baseball. The Lincoln Giants players were a great mix of the most talented players recruited from other major cities with high African-American populations. There were large crowds of 10,000 or more on the communal Sunday, where it was usually one of the few days that everyone, specifically blacks, would not have to work. Although there were a mixture of blacks and whites, in the middle of racial tension, there were never any reports of fights, altercations, or arrests.

The progression of black culture was projected in Harlem as an example of what the black community stood for. In reaction to that, the Lincoln Giants were a representation of Harlem also, and inherently as the United States. Lincoln Giants baseball of what the Harlem Renaissance, the Civil Rights Movement, and what the country could represent. In the years nineteen-eleven, nineteen-twelve, and nineteen-thirteen, the Lincoln Giants were in their heyday when they reached their peak success, winning the (unofficial) Eastern Championship three times in a row (nineteen-eleven, nineteen-twelve, and nineteen-thirteen).

john henry lloydThis team was assembled by a group of prominent players that were centered on a player by the name of John Henry Lloyd (a.k.a. Pop). John Henry Lloyd was an outstanding ball player that manned the shortstop position for only three years. In those three years, Lloyd was an unmatched figure on the field raking a .475 batting average in his first season in New York. As a baseball player he held an unprecedented career average of .343 and a .450 slugging percentage in a span of over two decades of playing professional baseball around the country. Lloyd is now in the National Baseball Hall of Fame for his amazing talents in the baseball community. His enormous impact in Harlem was key in making the Lincoln Giants out of Harlem gain a sense of integral pride in their community and the amazing social steps forward that were taken as a part of the Harlem Renaissance movement.


History on the Great Allegheny Passage

By Nate Pearson

Big Savage Tunnel

The Great Allegheny Passage is a tremendous system of bike trails linking the cities of Pittsburgh and the Washington DC region. The trails currently span over 150 miles and have earned the nickname “Rails to Trails” due to the fact that they quite literally sit on the old railway lines that fueled the industry that built the region. Thus as visitors travel down the trails, biking, running, walking, even skiing, they are doing so back through history.The creators of the trail have done a great job of achieving this through the use of signage and the preservation of many historic buildings along the route.

The trail follows the entire history of the region, from its Native American roots, through the vital role it played in the French and Indian War, to the early industrial period of the flatboats and steamboats, to the major industrial age that made Pittsburgh famous, to importance of the area’s natural and industrial resources in WWII, and finishes up nicely showing off how, in recent times the region has dealt with its literally polluted past to become a very clean and green area.

Fort Pitt Museum

Along the trail you pass through many historic areas from the times aforementioned. Starting in Pittsburgh you pass through city’s famous Point State Park, former site of Fort Pitt which gave the city its name and current home to the fort Pitt Museum which is in and of itself a tremendous historic site. The Fort Pitt Museum is part of the Senator John Heinz History Center and focuses exclusively on the area’s Native American History and its role in the French and Indian War. It is well worth a visit. All throughout Pittsburgh visitors learn through monuments, plaques and signs about the city’s industrial history all the while taking in the city’s natural beauty and seeing how it has become a clean modern city. Traveling east you then travel through the important coalfields of western Pennsylvania while passing many historic structures including, an old post office, Victorian houses, many old furnaces and other significant coal and steel related structures most with signage explaining their importance.

Historic Bridge at Ohiopyle

The trail also shows off many interesting geological features of the region. Shortly before crossing into Maryland the trail cross many historic feats of engineering including tunnels and viaducts. Then as you cross into Maryland you cross the famous Mason-Dixon Line. The trail ends on the Maryland side at the C&O Canal and the site of Fort Cumberland.

The first section of the trail was completed in 1986 along the Youghiogheny River. In 1998 Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge approved six million dollars for the project. Currently the trail spans over 150 miles past many significant historic and natural landmarks. It is a great way to get both local residents and visitors to the area both out in nature and learning about the region’s history.




For information on the trails I used my own knowledge,,, and the Fort Pitt museum’s website.

Women’s Museum and the Male Gaze

By Javon Blain

Around the world there are museums dedicated to almost everything. You have the Air and Space Museum, the African-American History Museum, the Holocaust Museum, and many others. These museums are very beneficial and it can teach everyone at least one thing about the past and present. This blog will focus on women’s museums and how they serve to satisfy the male gaze.

The National Women’s History Museums was founded in the year 1996 in Alexandria, Virginia.[1] This museum is dedicated to women of all backgrounds and professions. In this museum exhibits talk about women in NASA, women scientists, and many other accomplishments by women. The one thing that I dislike is how long it took for this particular museum to even come alive. Women have played a major role in the history of America and a lot of things that we have now would not be here if it were not for women. This shows us how even something as educational as this still satisfies the male gaze. Some men do not want to see the accomplishments of women because a strong woman can be seen as a threat to them. Some men claim that all women do is grumble and complain but it’s really never the women that do this. Nine times out of ten it’s the men who grumbles and complain when they do not get their way.

Mary Anderson

I am thankful for museums like this that are dedicated to women because they teach us that women did way more than just be a housewife. They ran the factories while the men were at war and did a better job than the men. Women also created things that we use in our everyday life. For example, the Windshield Wiper was created by Mary Anderson in 1903. Also the chocolate chip cookie was created by Ruth Wakefield in 1930.[2] These are just a few of the many inventions that women created, and these need to be known to the world through things such as museums. There needs to be more museums around the world that will step on the toes of men and let them know that women have done and are still doing things that effect the world in a positive way.

Another museum that is dedicated to the works of women around the world is the National Museum of Women in the Arts. This museum actually opened up before the NWHM on April 7, 1987 also this museum was not open to the public until April of 1987. The NMWA is strictly dedicated to women in arts unlike the NWHM is dedicated to all women’s history particular in the workforce.

Frieda Kahlo

A few fun facts about this museum that the NMWA is the only museum in the world that is dedicated to showing the work of women artist. It has also presented nearly three hundred special exhibits from women around the world. Also this museum is the only museum in Washington, D.C. where you will find a Frida Kahlo painting.[3] This museum is the only museum like this of its kind. It also seems to be the only one like it. Other arts museums are mainly showing a mixed group of art from both men and women. Then you have some museums that are solely dedicated to men’s art. This again shows us the impacts that the male gaze has on museums. It’s rare to see a museum that is strictly dedicated to women’s work without something dealing with men in it as well. It seems as if the men of America do not want to be left out if women try to do something for themselves but never fully support then when they do step out on their own.

I believe that there is a strong need for more women’s history museums around the world because we do not learn a lot about the accomplishments of women in our text books. Everything that we read about men are things that are mainly common knowledge. Learning about women’s history will show diversity and another side of women that people do not know besides the general housewife that most people think that women can be. Another thing I believe is that women’s museums are beneficial to young girls. Dr. Ina Seethaler who is the director of the Women’s and Gender Studies program once stated “you can’t be what you can’t see”. Therefore, I believe if young women and girls do not see women being scientist, lawyers, artist, educators, or any other profession besides being a house wife or someone who always has to depend on their husband, then they will not know that it is okay for them to spread their wings and be the extraordinary women that they are called to be.


[1] “About Us.” National Women’s History Museum. Accessed November 15, 2017.

[2] Jessica, Samakow. “11 Crucial Inventions You Can Think Women For.” The Huffington Post. March 01,

  1. Accessed November 15, 2017.


[3] “National Museum of Women in the Arts.” FUN FACTS | National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Accessed November 15, 2017.


Sandy Island

By Jay Buckley

The Athenaeum Press at Coastal Carolina University works on projects on a regional level that are led by students. While not all of their projects are focused solely in South Carolina, they are all developed, designed, and published out of CCU. The projects that are based in South Carolina have a mission to educate people on a local, regional, and national level on the history and culture of the area. One of these projects based out of South Carolina is “Gullah: The Voice of an Island.” From this project came the idea to fight to preserve the island and all its rich history and culture.

Image from:

The project “Gullah: The Voice of an Island,” began as a collaboration between two music professors, Matt White from CCU and Eric Crawford from Norfolk State University. It was meant to preserve the spiritual songs sung in praise houses on a CD. The next focus of the project was to preserve the culture and heritage of the Gullah community.

The Gullah people have lived along the eastern coast stretching from South Carolina down to Florida since the early 1800s when they were first brought from the western coast of Africa to be sold into slavery. In Georgetown County, South Carolina there is an island called Sandy Island which is inhabited by the descendants of the people within that community. The forty-square mile of former rice plantation is located between the Pee Dee and Waccamaw River and is only accessible by boat.

In 1996, the state stepped in to protect the island from developers trying to build a bridge to haul timber from the island. The state was successful and guaranteed it to be untouched by development. This spring, Alli Crandell from the Athenaeum Press teamed up with Eric Crawford to apply for the Civil Rights Grant from the National Parks service to preserve Sandy Island. They are using the money from the grant to renovate the schoolhouse that was built in 1932. Their plan is to turn it into a visitor center for people to learn more about Sandy Island’s history and the Gullah community who still lives there today.

It is important to preserve this island because not only is there so much history from it being a former rice plantation, but there are people who are still living on the island today. Without land, you have no culture.

Below are images of the cultural center sign. The first is from 2012 and the second is from the spring of 2017. A clear example of what happens without preservation.

Sign in 2012
Sign in 2017

Motor City Mayhem

By Dylan Livingston

Dylan visiting the exhibits at Horry County Museum

During this past summer, I traveled to Detroit, Michigan to visit my father and take a look into what he was working on for his job. Over the past year, my father was hired as the CEO of the Michigan State science center. One of my dad’s main objectives was to educate the public about how the racial and economic demographics throughout the Motor City made it how it is today. Although the museum’s calling card will be primarily surrounding science, my dad jumped on the project with massive intentions of teaching the public about the history and experiences of the people in the only American city to go bankrupt in the last 5 years.

My dad wanted to create a hands-on approach to educate youth within the Detroit Public School system about the city they live in. As upsetting as a city-wide bankruptcy is, my dad wanted to focus on its beginning as much as he wants to talk about what the city is doing and putting in place to change their misfortunes and make the Motor City boom like it once did. In the beginning, I wasn’t sure about his approach in terms of talking about the good and the bad of Detroit’s demise but after his explanation I was on board. My father described the entire experience as one big story that the youth of the DPS system could really get into. This got me to thinking about the endless possibilities that the project could bring to these children.

Image result for detroit skyline
Detroit Skyline

My dad wanted to make an interactive story providing a taste of a game similar to “The Game of Life” where the children would be presented with a small playing figure and they would progress them through their lives until they were hit with the reality of bankruptcy. The children were to be guided around a large room with different stations that represented different events that were to take place within their lives. They could choose their car, schools for their children, jobs they picked to work in and so on. The age range for students going through this game is targeted at around 10 to 15 years old.

As the game was to carry on and the lives of our made-up characters progressed, my dad wanted to gradually incorporate a failing economy in the student’s salaries at work and price of groceries in the store. As the children are beginning to notice small changes, it was my dad’s hope that a few students would take leadership roles and try to figure out the problems, only to amp up the experience and introduce the actual bankruptcy. As the bankruptcy takes hold it’s the goal of the exercise to teach a little about money, problem solving and coming up with a solution; similar to Detroit using creditors to help bail themselves out.

This exercise was very appealing to me because I knew it would make the students think and help them learn about their great city. Using interactive approaches, especially with younger children, gives them a reason to stay engaged while also having fun in the process of gaining everything, losing everything and then learning how to recover. I hope there are more interactive approaches to centers of history, science and art as they give the patrons of the facility a different experience and a great way to learn.

The Structure & Organization of Museums and Historic Houses

By Morgan Condrey


Morgan at the Horry County Museum

When you walk into a museum or historic house you always note the cleanliness as well how everything is in a specific order or place. Both are known for their attention to detail in regards to both the exhibits as well as the official structure of the operations. So what keeps these places organized, and how are these institutions structured? We will discuss this throughout the blog post, as well as touch on the importance of museums to society.

The way a museum structure is set up involves several tiers of jobs and bosses. The first and most job is the museum director; museum directors are also known as museum curators. The museum director/ curator is in charge of overseeing the storage of the museum’s collections that it displays. They are also in charge of raising funds to keep the museum running in tip top shape. In a sense the director is the backbone of the museums and oversees most all of the operations that take place in or in reference to the museum they work for. The next job while working in a museum is the education portion, the people who work in this area of the museum have an important job as well. The educators come up with good information and transfer that information to the public in a way that is deemed exciting and informative. The education portion of the museum is in charge of creating the tours of the museum that everyone finds so exciting. The next section of the workers in the museum are the tour guides and such. As in their title they are responisible for the execution of the tours designed and made up by the educators of the museum. They walk around the museum and inform the public of all of the information on the exhibits within the museum. After the tour guides we have the marketing and communications portion of the museum staffing. This area is the central point of distributing information to the public about the museum as well for the museum. This particular area promotes exhibits, events, the donations, as well as other important goings ons around the museum through strategic marketing and advertising.

blogtierAlong the way there are other important jobs that are done by everyday people such as the janitors, the people who work the front desk, and other smaller areas. As a child your schools and parents probably took you to various museums. Whether it had been an art, historical, science, or any other science museum it is not always why they exist.

From my prior knowledge museums are here to inform and educate the public in a wat that is also entertaining! It is the job of public history and museums to almost “trick” people into being educated about a topic or idea. Lots of time museums will make education fun by making it interactive or perceiving said information in a way that makes the public interact and learn.



One Student’s Thoughts on 395

By Daniel Cochran

I signed up for this class having no real clue what was to be taught from the description, but I needed another 300+ (at least, though I’ve been try’n to take only 400+ to finish out my history degree at Coastal) level class to finish out the final requirements before the Capstone (HIST498).

museum 1 fall 2017
Learning in the Boardroom at Horry County Museum

The part of the description for the course that stated, “learn more about post-baccalaureate employment opportunities as well as graduate programs in public history” really sparked my interest. Because, research is my passion whether it be into the computer world I have lived in for over 30 years (started programming professionally in 1989), or the true interest of my life, history. Therefore, I was interested in learning what, if anything, I could do to make a living or perform part-time in semi-retirement to earn a buck or two. Finally, I looked at this class as an easy “A” to be honest.


vault of archival .png
The “Vault” of Archival Items

Well, Dr. Clary makes sure you work for your grade, as have all my professors at Coastal, so it is not a level 100 “easy A” class. However, it is a very interesting and mostly enjoyable class. Broderick and I were sent out to investigate a historical business building in Conway, South Carolina on our first class outing. That ended up being a hoot while learning more about our city our college is part of here. BTW: I bought the grits in the store and they are tasty. Then our second outing as a class was to the Horry County Museum where we got a behind the scenes learning experience that coincided with our class teachings with archival, restorations, presentations, and museum management.  I’ve included a few pictures of what we saw at the Horry County Museum.

in storage.png
Examining the “Vault”

Our third outing assigned was a volunteer event where we headed out solo to work in Public History. I choose to volunteer at Georgetown County Museum in Georgetown, South Carolina. Georgetown was the third city settled in the Proprietors’ colony known as Carolina, which became North and South Carolina. Thanks to the Director Ms. Elisabeth McKee, I was able to spend Halloween (prior) weekend as Thomas Lynch, Jr. performing as the docent (fancy college word for guide) for that Saturday.

The Restoration Room

By the way, I don’t look like Mr. Lynch at all, but it was fun walking up and down the floors showing folks the history of the third city settled in the colony of South Carolina. In addition to showing folks the vast collection of historical items displayed at Georgetown, I was able to work on a fundraising mailing list when folks were not in the museum. This is something I look forwarding to doing again in the future. (Read more about my volunteer work here).

daniel at museum .png
Daniel as Thomas Lynch, Jr. Georgetown County Museum 2017

The latest subjects we have been learning about are right up my professional alley, G.I.S. and recreation of historical landscapes, structures, and events to add an even more involved experience for visitors to a site. It was totally intriguing to listen to the computer efforts at Coastal to return visitors to the Hampton Plantation in Georgetown County to what it was like, how they lived, what they worked on in an interactive environment much like most modern video games today.

If you are a History major at Coastal do not miss the opportunity to take this course that takes you out of deep research and writing for a brief time to show you what you can do with the knowledge you are learning here. That knowledge you are working on, can be turned into something the non-historian or casual-interest person can enjoy and learn from by honing your public history skillset(s) learned in this class.