Skip to main content
The Official Web Site of the State of South Carolina

Content Rotator

SC Facts and Symbols


  • State Capital: Columbia
  • Motto: Dum Spiro Spero (While I breathe, I hope)
  • Nickname: The Palmetto State
  • Counties: 46 counties
  • Population: About 4.7 million
  • Bordering neighbors: Atlantic Ocean, Georgia, North Carolina
  • Time Zone: Eastern Time (ET)
  • More Facts


  • State Beverage: Milk
  • State Hospitality Beverage: Tea
  • State Fruit: Peach
  • State Flower: Yellow Jessamine
  • State Tree: Palmetto Tree
  • State Dance: The Shag
  • More symbols and emblems

Brief SC History

One of the thirteen original colonies, South Carolina has had a rich and varied history. When Spanish and French explorers arrived in the area in the 16th century, they found a land inhabited by many small tribes of Native Americans, the largest of which were the Cherokees and the Catawbas.

The first European attempts at settlement failed, but in 1670 a permanent English settlement was established on the coast near present day Charleston.

By the time of the American Revolution, South Carolina was one of the richest colonies in America. Its merchants and planters formed a strong governing class, contributing many leaders to the fight for independence.

More Revolutionary War battles and skirmishes were fought in South Carolina than any other state, including major engagements at Sullivan's Island, Camden, Kings Mountain, and Cowpens. South Carolina ratified the United States Constitution on May 23, 1788, becoming the eighth state to enter the country.

More Facts about South Carolina

  • First permanent English settlement in South Carolina established at Albemarle Point in Charleston in 1670.
  • First indigo planted, 1671.
  • First free library established – Charleston, 1698.
  • First mutual fire insurance company – Friendly Society for the Mutual Insurance of Houses Against Fire, 1735.
  • First opera performed in America – Charleston, February 18, 1735.
  • First building to be used solely as a theatre – Dock Street Theatre in Charleston, constructed in 1736.
  • First slave insurrection – Stono area near Charleston, 1739.
  • First cotton exported to England, 1764.
  • First business publication – South Carolina Price Current in Charleston, 1774.
  • The first time a British flag was taken down and replaced by an American flag was in Charleston in 1775.
  • First independent government formed among American colonies, March 1776.
  • Golf was first played in the city limits of Charleston. The South Carolina Golf Club was formed in 1786 – this was the first golf club.
  • First cotton mill built – James Island, 1789.
  • First tea planted – Middleton Barony, 1802.
  • First fireproof building built – Charleston, 1822.
  • First steam locomotive built in the United States to be used for regular railroad service – "Best Friend of Charleston," 1830.