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10 Fast Facts About South Carolina:
1/ The official state flag of South Carolina (see above) is one of the simplest and yet distinctive, with a white crescent and a white palmetto. The reason behind the design was that the South Carolina troops during the Civil War originally wore blue uniforms that included the white crescent on them, hence it was a natural fit for the state flag, whilst the white palmetto was added onto the flag in 1861 as a reference to Colonel William Moultrie's defense of Sullivan's Island (a town in Charleston) against the British in 1775, where the fortress had held out against the onslaught of the British Cannons largely because of the re-enforcement of the walls with palmetto trees.
The palmetto trees were naturally springy, and so instead of absorbing the full force of the impact, the cannonballs would often bounce, which would minimize the damage they caused.
2/ The official state tree of South Carolina is the Palmetto Tree which can grow up to 65 feet in height (20 meters) and is often used along sea frontages because it has a good tolerance to cold and salt spray.
3/ The jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie was born in Cheraw, South Carolina in 1917. He was best known as an improviser and virtuoso performer who added harmonic complexity to jazz that widened its appeal to a larger audience.
4/ There are 46 counties in South Carolina, which is the maximum allowable by state law. The smallest of these is Calhoun County which is 1,016 square kilometers (392 square miles); while the largest is Charleston County which is 3,517 square kilometers (1,358 square miles). The newest state in South Carolina is Allendale County which was established in 1919, whilst the oldest is Orangeburg County which was established in 1769.
5/ There are many large lakes in South Carolina, and cumulatively they cover an area of over 683 square miles, or 437,672 acres.
There are five lakes in South Carolina that each covers an area of 50,000 acres or more:
Lake Marion - 110,000 acres
Lake Strom Thurmond - 71,100 acres
Lake Moultrie - 60,000 acres
Lake Hartwell - 56,000 acres
Lake Murray - 50,000 acres
6/ If you have ever taken the herbal extract Ginkgo Biloba to help your circulation or memory then you will know that it is made from the leaves of the Ginkgo Biloba tree. In order to produce enough of these there are farms of the trees, and the largest of these in the world can be found in Dalzell in Sumter County, South Carolina where around 10 million Ginkgo Biloba Trees have been planted for their leaves in an area of around 1,200 acres.
Bonus Tip... Typically it is best to avoid planting female Ginkgo Biloba Trees because they produce a particularly smelly fruit which the male trees do not.
7/ The lowest temperature ever recorded in South Carolina was -19F (-28 centigrade) at Caesars Head on the 21st January 1985. In contrast, the highest temperature ever recorded in South Carolina was 111 F (44 centigrade) at Camden in Kershaw County on the 28th June 1954.
8/ Here are some average low and high temperatures for various cities in South Carolina in August (in Fahrenheit):
9/ There have been five astronauts who were born in South Carolina, two from Charleston, and one each from Columbia, Greenville and Lake City. The most tragic was Ronald McNair (1950 - 1986) from Lake City, who died on the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster, when the shuttle broke apart and exploded 73 seconds into its flight on the 28th January 1986.
10/ There has only (so far!) been one President of the United States who was born in South Carolina, and that was the 7th President, Andrew Jackson who was born in Waxhaws on March 15, 1767 and was in office between March 4, 1829 and March 4, 1837