December Programs

Time_Machine_Dec_2015If December makes you think of polar topics, then I have a gift for you.  This month I’m presenting two programs that are polar opposites in nature: one is a bit heavy and political, and the other is light, refreshing, and fun.  Both events will be full of interesting details about our shared past, of course, and taken together will no doubt prove a satisfying feast for those hungry for South Carolina history.  If the diminishing daylight hours cause you to have a case of the wintertime blues, then a dose of time travel will help put everything in its proper perspective.

South Carolina’s Path to Secession

One hundred and fifty-five years ago this month, South Carolina’s elected representatives voted to secede from the federal union of the United States of America.  This decision was a radical move, to be sure, but it was not simply a hasty, knee-jerk reaction to the election of Abraham Lincoln.  Rather, the secession of South Carolina in December 1860 was the culmination of nearly fifty years of divisive political friction.  If you’re curious about our state’s mindset in 1860, I invite you to join me for a survey of the most significant issues and events that ultimately led to secession and war.

  • Tuesday, 8 December at 11:15 a.m.,  John’s Island Regional Library, 3531 Maybank Highway, Johns Island, SC 29455 (with students from Haut Gap Middle School)
  • Wednesday, 9 December at 6 p.m., Charleston County Public Library, 2nd Floor Classroom, 68 Calhoun Street, Charleston SC 29401


A Fruit-Filled History of Charleston

Back in August I scheduled a new “fruity” lecture and published a short essay on the topic, but unfortunately that event had to be postponed.  I’m happy to announce that “A Fruit-Filled History of Charleston” program is on the calendar for December.  Since this season of holiday feasting will no doubt include desserts, syrups, and beverages flavored with all sorts of exotic fruits, we ask: did our Charleston forebearers have access to such delicacies?  To answer this question, we’ll take a look at indigenous fruits, European imports, and fruits brought to Charleston from the Caribbean and Latin America.  We won’t dwell on recipes, but rather we’ll consider the vast commercial and social networks that brought fruits to local tables. And perhaps we’ll have a few samples on hand as well . . . ..

  • Wednesday, 16 December at 6 p.m., Charleston County Public Library, 2nd Floor Classroom, 68 Calhoun Street, Charleston SC 29401


Questions? Drop me a line at butlern[at] or call 843–805–6968 for more information.