Who Are Our Tuesday Night Honorees?
DIHS board members Lee Ann Bain and Beth Bush have singled out three local historical figures to celebrate for Women’s History Month Tuesday night. How much do you know about their three choices?
Septima Poinsette Clark is by far the best known of the three. She was a seminal figure in the Civil Rights Movement. Martin Luther King referred to her as “the Mother of the Movement.”
To learn more about Septima Clark check out these links:
SEPTIMA POINSETTE CLARK DIHS blog
Septima Poinsette Clark Biography.com
New Play Honors Legacy of Septima Clark DIHS blog.
Martha Daniell Logan was the daughter of Daniel Island namesake Robert Daniell. But more importantly she was a pioneering figure in botany and horticultural in 18th Century North America.
For more on Martha Daniel Logan, check out these links:
History of Early American Landscape Design National Gallery of Art
Martha Daniell Logan DIHS blog
Our third spotlight is on Gertude Sanford Legendre who lived a glamorous life as a socialite, world famous big game hunter, World War II spy and prisoner of war and Charleston society queen bee. For more on her fascinating life check this blog article,
These three samples are just part of what you’ll learn about these fascinating women and their roles in local history. Join us at 7 pm, Tuesday, March 21 at Church of the Holy Cross Parish Hall, 299 Seven Farms Drive, Daniel Island.
Like all of our monthly programs it’s free and open to all. That said, we are dependent on membership dues to maintain our wide variety of programs in the community and local schools. You can join DIHS at the meeting Tuesday night or you can join online right now at https://dihistoricalsociety.com/membership-4/
High Life to Spy Life…and Back!
That’s part of the title of a 2017 Charleston Magazine article on Gertrude Legendre….one of the historical figures that Beth Bush and Lee Ann Bain will showcase in our March 22 DIHS program.
The other two women we’ll feature, Septima Clarke and Martha Daniell Logan are both better known and probably much more significant….but neither has quite the glamorous story of Ms Legendre…aka ‘Gertie.’
Born in, and very much part, of horse country in Aiken, SC. Daughter and granddaughter of Congressmen fromNew York.
Gertie was an heiress, a socialite/debutante, a world famous big game hunter, a spy of sorts, a WWII prisoner of war who managed to escape her captors, and a a house guest of Allen Dulles, an OSS operative in Switzerland, who would later head the CIA under Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy.
After the war she lived at Berkeley County’s Medway Plantation. She published two autobiographies, The Sands Ceased to Run in 1947 and The Time of My Life (Wyrick & Co.) 40 years later. Throughout that era, she was a fixture in Charleston social, philanthropic, and cultural circles. Her New Year’s Eve costume parties at Medway were the hottest ticket in town.
LEARN MORE ABOUT GERTRUDE SANFORD LEGENDRE
“Gertrude Legendre – The High Life to Spy Life, and Back” Charleston Magazine, September 2017
“Gertrude Sanford Legendre, 97, Socialite Turned Hunter and Prisoner of War” New York Times obituary, March 13, 2000
“The Fabulous Life of Gertrude Sanford Legendre” Walter Edgar’s Journal, South Carolina Public Radio
There’s PLENTY more about Gertie….just Google her.
Genealogy Workshop Another Membership Perk
Although our monthly programs are free and open to all, DIHS is very dependent on membership. Your membership dues are critical to support our wide range of programs…from historic markers to supporting local schools to helping restore and preserve local cemeteries.
One of the ways we try to thank our dues paying members is through special members only or members get preference programs…..most recently Saturday, March 11, 2023.
According to event organizer Beth Bush, it was a wonderful genealogy workshop for DIHS members this morning at the Family Search Center in West Ashley! What a fabulous resource this center is to anyone diving into their family history. Special thanks to our workshop leaders Delsa and Dave Biorn!
Not a member? It’s easy. CLICK HERE
DIHS March 2023 Newsletter
Have you seen our March 2023 newsletter….lots of good info on coming events. CLICK HERE
Not a DIHS member? It’s easy to join.
History Is Made Daily
So much of what we consider ‘history’ is composed of what were, at the time, every day events. With that in mind, history was made again with the first ringing of the bells at Daniel Island’s new Catholic church, St. Clare of Assisi. See and hear for yourself at https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?ref=watch_permalink&v=147927434530182. The bells won’t ring again until May when the church opens.
When you drive by the church site (next to Bishop England HS on Seven Farms Drive) there’s still plenty of construction/landscaping work going on. But if you have a chance, drive by at night to fully appreciate the stained glass windows.
For more on the history of those windows and the church, check out the Deacon’s Bench blog CLICK HERE
Robert Daniell Birthday Party
JOIN US FOR ROBERT DANIELL’S 377th BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION!
Don’t miss the Daniel Island Historical Society’s tribute to our island’s namesake – Gov. Robert Daniell! We will be celebrating his 377th birthday along with his British heritage at this very special event. Get ready for a jolly good time! Join us for cake, treats and refreshments – including a cup of tea, of course! Plus, we’ll have a fun photo booth, storytelling about Gov. Daniell from local author Peg Eastman, a nautical activity for the kids, prizes and more. All ages welcome.
Tickets to this event are $10 for DIHS members, $15 for non-members, or $50 for a family of five of more. Click on the link below to get your tickets! Deadline to purchase tickets: Friday, April 14.
Note: When you are in the process of checking out, you will see an option to make a donation to Zeffy, the platform we are using to manage our ticket sales (they provide this platform to us at no charge). You do NOT have to make a donation to Zeffy if you do not want to. Just click on “Other” when given the option and enter “0” and proceed to checkout. THANK YOU!
New Play Honors Legacy of Septima Clark
The March 1 edition of the Charleston City Paper has an interesting story about a new play honoring the legacy of Septima Clark…one of three women we’ll highlight in the March 21 DIHS program.
“Septima is a new play by Patricia Williams Dockery offering an inside look at Charleston native and civil rights icon Septima P. Clark’s legendary life. Septima premieres at PURE Theatre on March 9.
“Dockery, an author and playwright now based in Baltimore, previously held the role of executive director at the Avery Institute for African American History and Culture at the College of Charleston from 2010 to 2019 where she was approached by the Charleston League of Women Voters to write a play about Clark, who worked with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to establish citizenship schools across the South to register Black voters during the civil rights movement. The League of Women Voters is a nonprofit, nonpartisan political organization founded in 1920 which works to expand and protect voting rights.
“Having worked at the Avery, I really learned all about Septima Clark. So when they asked me to do it, I was doubled over in honor,” Dockery said.
The play covers Clark’s entire life, Dockery said, and illustrates her unassailable spirit as she rose through adversity and overcame personal tragedy to make a lasting impact on the civil rights movement, especially voting rights and education.”
To read the entire City Paper article by Tiara Sollis CLICK HERE.
And from Holycitysinner.com, “PURE Theatre and the League of Women Voters Charleston Area will be hosting events throughout the duration of “Septima,” running March 9th to April 1st. The production follows the life of Charleston native Septima Clark.” CLICK HERE to read more.
And, as stated above Septima Clark is one of three groundbreaking local women that Beth Bush and Lee Ann Bain will highlight in DIHS’ March 21 program “Girl Power: Celebrating Charleston Women in History”, For more details on our program that night CLICK HERE.
A Timely April Program….No Fooling!
If you’re one of those folks who checks rain forecasts and tide tables before driving downtown, you won’t want to miss our April 18 program.
Join the Daniel Island Historical Society as we welcome Christina Rae Butler for a very informative and timely program on tidal history. Ms. Butler will provide an illustrated overview of her recent book,Lowcountry At High Tide: Flooding, Drainage, and Reclamation in Charleston.
Her discussion will chronicle the methods and motives for growing and developing Charleston over time through filling and reclamation, and how residents and the city government have dealt with flooding in the past and present. Butler is a professor of historic preservation and chair of general education at the American College of the Building Arts, adjunct faculty at College of Charleston, and owner of Butler Preservation L.C. She is also the author of Ansonborough: From Birth the Rebirth for the Historic Charleston Foundation; Italians in the Lowcountry; and an upcoming new book, Charleston Horse Power (USC Press, August 2023).
Like all of our monthly programs, Christina’s presentation is free and open to all. That said, we urge you to join DIHS and help support our wide range of community projects and programs through your dues. Learn more about membership at https://dihistoricalsociety.com/membership-4/. We need YOU!
U.S. Navy Re-names Ship in Honor of Civil War/Reconstruction icon Robert Smalls.
Local Black History icon Robert Smalls is being honored by the Unites States Navy which is naming a guided missile destroyer after him. Perhaps just as significantly, the USS Robert Smalls was formerly known as the USS Chancellorsville. Yes, named after the site of a Confederate victory in the Civil War.
“Robert Smalls is a man who deserves a namesake ship and with this renaming, his story will continue to be retold and highlighted,” Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro said in a statement. “The renaming of these assets is not about rewriting history, but to remove the focus on the parts of our history that doesn’t align with the tenets of this country, and instead allows us to highlight the events and people in history who may have been overlooked.”
For the rest of the CNN article CLICK HERE.
Robert Smalls was born a slave in South Carolina. By the time he was 23 years old, Smalls had won freedom for himself and his family, and was a famous war hero.
Smalls was an enslaved crew member on a privately owned vessel that was contracted as a supply ship for the Confederate Army in Charleston.
Smalls became famous when he, and other enslaved crew members, seized the ship, picked up their families, and successfully fled Charleston harbor navigating the ship through Confederate forces at Ft. Sumter and Fort Moultrie. Smalls sailed the group out to the naval blockade squadron and turned the Planter over to the United States Navy. Robert Smalls and his family were free.
Smalls went on to be a five term member of Congress during the Reconstruction Era. To see more of this biography from the National Park Service website CLICK HERE
TWO Nice Mentions in the DI News!
Recognition of DIHS efforts to share the history of our area is always appreciated…and none more so than those by the Daniel Island News. This week’s edition has two stories….one looking forward to Women’s History Month and a second about our February program ‘Ukweli: Search for Truth”.
The article kicking off Women’s History Month is headlined “Wonder Women” and highlights tour guide (and DIHS Board member) Lee Ann Bain’s tours that focus on the important roles women have played in Lowcountry history. To read the article CLICK HERE.
The article goes on to mention our March 21 DIHS program where Lee Ann and Beth Bush will focus on three groundbreaking local women, Septima P. Clark, Gertrude Legendre, and Martha Daniell Logan. For a preview on why Lee Ann and Beth chose these three CLICK HERE.
The same issue of the DI News also had a nice write up on our February 21 program “Ukweli: Searching for Healing Truth.” CLICK HERE