Other media is chiming in this week on the looming 150th anniversary of the Civil War and the critical role that South Carolina played in the early days. It would seem that the state has just enough money for a diarama, but not much else.
We covered this briefly last summer along with our story on the political and historical hurdles that organizers were going to have to jump when discussing such a sensitive topic (and how they failed miserably to do so for the 100th anniversary).
When the state legislature approved the Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission in May, South Carolina was already behind the ball in relation to other states. And they’re even more behind in funding it.
Virginia, where many of the war’s pivotal battles were fought, developed its commission in 2006. The legislature has also budgeted $2 million for early planning for events, with a promise for more as we get closer to the 150th. Georgia has its sesquicentennial group operating under the state’s tourism department, with nearly $1 million already budgeted in hopes of catching Gettysburg, Pa., in the number of Civil War tourists.
So far, South Carolina has allotted $64,000.
Organizers are hopeful that money will be coming in the next few years to help fund exhibitions by state and confederate museums, as well as some grant and seed money the South Carolina commission could dole out to local or regional programs, says Robert Stroup, director of the state’s Department of Archives and History.