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Remembering the Days

Amble across the Horseshoe and take a stroll down more than 200 years of memory lane with Remembering the Days, a University of South Carolina podcast. We tell the stories of everything from campus pranks in the 19th century to how we became known as Gamecocks. It’s the always interesting, sometimes quirky history of an institution that has been part of the fabric of the Palmetto State since it opened its doors in 1805 and eventually became South Carolina’s flagship university.

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Remembering the Days -- USC during Reconstruction

USC's modern desegregation took place in 1963 when three African American students enrolled at the historically white university — but they actually weren't the first black students in the university's history. For a brief window in the 1870s, USC became the only state-supported public university in the South to open its doors to white and black students alike.

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Remembering the Days -- 3 in 1: The Women's Quad

A century ago, USC built its first dormitory for women, whose presence on campus had not been warmly welcomed when they first arrived in the 1890s. While other women's dorms have come and gone on campus, the Women's Quad retains its status as the original location for and the only present location of women's-only residence halls at the university. 

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Remembering the Days -- Flying high: aviation at USC

USC's connections to aviation go higher than you might think. From civilian and military aviator training to the state's only aeronautical engineering degree program, the university has been spreading its wings for decades. One chapter in the story includes a farmboy who flew a plane by himself at age 12.

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Remembering the Days -- Visible and Invisible: students with disabilities

As a blind student, John Eldred Swearingen had to make a case for admission to Carolina in 1895. The university went on to become a pioneer in accommodating students with major physical disabilities and continues to provide opportunities for students with disabilities both visible and invisible. 

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Remembering the Days -- The wilderness years: USC sports in the independent era

The two decades between USC's departure from the Atlantic Coast Conference and entry into the Southeastern Conference were a challenging time for Gamecock sports. But USC sports enthusiast Alan Piercy's new book about that era reminds us that a lot of cool things —  including a Heisman Trophy winner and a new iteration of USC's mascot — came about in the midst of those wilderness years. 

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Remembering the Days -- Booked solid: the history of USC Press

For nearly 80 years, the University of South Carolina Press has been publishing books — more than 1,000 and counting — on topics ranging from the history of the Palmetto State to literary figures, cuisine and much more. Pull up a reading chair and learn more about the Press came to be. 

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Remembering the Days -- Double parked: campus parking, parking tickets and the campus shuttle

Visit any urban campus in America and the No. 1 complaint almost always will be the parking situation. Parking at USC became an issue in the 1960s as enrollment skyrocketed. The university dealt with it by building parking garages and adding a campus shuttle system. To enforce the parking rules, there was a regiment of parking officers, which, for nearly half a century, included 'Miss Pat.'

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Remembering the Days -- Rutledge Chapel wedding bells

An integral part of the oldest building on campus, the Rutledge Chapel has been in continuous use since 1805 and has a rich history of its own. But that history is still being written as, every year, alumni say their wedding vows inside the venerable chapel's walls.

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Remembering the Days -- The campus during wartime

Since its founding in 1801, the University of South Carolina, its students and alumni have been profoundly affected by wars, most notably the Civil War, WWI, WWII and the Vietnam War. As Memorial Day draws near, it is a fitting time to remember.

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Remembering the Days -- 'Believe It or Not!'

Decades ago, an illustrator named Robert L. Ripley presented tales of the strange, the bizarre and the unexpected — and challenged the public to 'believe it or not!' In that spirit, here are three such tales from the University of South Carolina's past.

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Remembering the Days -- Remembering the pioneers

Sixty years ago, the University of South Carolina opened its doors to all students, regardless of race, when it enrolled three Black students — Henrie Monteith, Robert Anderson and James Solomon. But what was campus life like for the Black students who immediately followed in their footsteps in 1964 and beyond?

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Remembering the Days -- Message in a bottle

USC students in 1977 buried an eclectic assortment of items for a time capsule that was unearthed in 2001 as part of the university's bicentennial celebration. That same year, another time capsule was buried on the Horseshoe — with its own treasure trove of items — with an opening scheduled for 2051.

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Remembering the Days -- We hail thee, Carolina!

For more than 110 years, USC alumni and students have been singing the university alma mater — 'We hail theee, Carolina!' But what, exactly, is an alma mater and how did USC end up with one?

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Remembering the Days -- The Duel of 1833

Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton engaged in an infamous duel in 1804, and a number of South Carolina College students nearly got tangled up in duels in the years before the Civil War. History records only one duel  involving South Carolina College students that ended in fatality — and this is the strange story of that tragedy. 

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Remembering the Days -- Palmetto Ivy: How the Honors College came to be

USC's Honors College was established in the 1970s around the time that several other of the nation's first honors colleges came into being. But the South Carolina Honors College would eventually emerge as one of the nation's best, boasting hundreds of honors courses and attracting some of the best students from the Palmetto State and beyond. 

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Remembering the Days -- First things first

Curtis Frye, head coach of field and track head at USC, knows a thing or two about coming in first place and being the first to do something. He's done all of those in his time at Carolina, including bringing home the university's first-ever national championship trophy. Perhaps most importantly, Coach Frye understands the importance of putting first things first. 

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Remembering the Days -- Grand Tourino: the Visitor Center

Every year, tens of thousands of prospective students and their families visit the University of South Carolina for a campus tour. Here's the story of how the university's Visitor Center came to be, as well as a peek behind the curtains at some unscripted moments in the lives of campus tour guides. 

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Remembering the Days -- The not-so-secret gardens

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world … is a garden.” When Frances Hodgson Burnett penned those words more than a century ago in her classic children’s book The Secret Garden, there probably were very few, perhaps not any flower gardens on the University of South Carolina campus. But we’ve made up for it in the past 50 years or so. On this short tour, you'll learn the history of several not-so-secret gardens on campus and what's planted in each one. 

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Remembering the Days -- The Myth of Commodore Capstone

What building on the University of South Carolina campus was named for a Confederate navy commodore and commemorated on a picture postcard? It's a trick question! A high-rise residence hall was featured on a postcard in the late 1960s, and the caption on the postcard said the building was named in honor of alumnus Epaminondas J. Capstone, a Confederate commodore. But separate fact from fiction is the real story.

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Remembering the Days -- Sink or Swim: the freshman lifesaver course

Fifty years ago, it wasn't uncommon to hear professors give the "look to your left, look to your right — one of you will have failed by the end of the semester" speech. But exactly 50 years ago, Carolina tried something different: a course designed to help freshmen feel like they belonged along with the academic tools they needed to succeed. It was called University 101, and it became model for hundreds of colleges across the country.

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Remembering the Days -- Fair play: the 50th anniversary of Title IX

Women's college sports barely on the radar in the early 1970s, but Title IX changed everything by leveling the playing field for men's and women's sports at the collegiate level. Meet two of the first 18 women to receive athletics scholarships at the University of South Carolina, which is now a national leader in parity for its men's and women's sports programs.

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Remembering the Days -- A Memorial Day tribute

Eighty-one graduates of the University of South Carolina have died in military service since the Spanish-American War at the close of the 19th century. In observance of Memorial Day, we remember three who died serving their country in World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War.

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Remembering the Days -- High-rise hijinks, life in the Towers

Pranks and pratfalls are part of life in any college residence hall, but one dormitory complex at the University of South Carolina seemed to have more than its fair share. Stories about life in the Towers, also known as the Honeycombs and the Veilblocks, are now almost the stuff of legend. Here are a few anecdotes from yesteryear about those long-gone dorms. 

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Remembering the Days -- The grass whisperer, Sarge Frye

Sarge Frye knew how to make grass grow, and for five decades he made sure the University of South Carolina's athletic fields were green and trimmed. But much more than that, Sarge had a heart for people and connected with everyone he met. It's why his name continues to be synonymous with Gamecock sports. 

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Remembering the Days -- A man for all seasons: the Tom Jones presidency

Tom Jones was one of the university's longest serving presidents, and during his 12 years at the helm the university added scores of buildings and thousands of students. Significantly, Jones helped transform South Carolina into a modern research university and brought a spirit of innovation to its instructional mission.

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Remembering the Days: Write me a letter

Long before texting, Facetime and email were a thing, university students sat down with pen and paper to ask their parents for money, beg forgiveness when they got in trouble and invite someone special for a date. This quaint assortment of letters from University of South Carolina students of yesteryear covers all of those topics and more.

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Remembering the Days: Small town girl, big city dreams

Jotaka Eaddy grew up on a dirt road in a small town in the Pee Dee region of the state. But she wound up pursuing big dreams when she came to the University of South Carolina, and that success propelled her toward even bigger goals as a professional.

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Remembering the Days: #UofSCLove

When we think back to our college days, some of us remember old boyfriends and girlfriends or maybe former roommates that we still stay in touch with. And for some, college is where they met that special someone — the person with whom they fell in love and then, quite possibly, lived happily ever after.

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Remembering the Days: The lecture hall that never was

When it was dedicated in 1855, the building we now know as Longstreet Theater was already a disappointment. The audience gathered could scarcely understand what was being said because of the poor acoustics. So how did this echo chamber eventually become the premier stage for live theater at the university? Sound engineering!

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Remembering the Days: The Great Biscuit Rebellion

For much of the first half of the 19th century, students at South Carolina College were not pleased with the quality of food served on campus. In 1852, the wormy biscuits and rancid meat were too much to stomach, so the students issued an ultimatum — that ultimately gave them a case of indigestion.

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Remembering the Days: 'JFK slept here' and other famous visitors

JFK once had a bad night's rest in the President's House, and Burt Bacharach tickled the ivories there. Pope John Paul II addressed a crowd of thousands packed onto the Horseshoe. This trip down memory lane has us remembering some of the famous visitors who've come to campus over the years.

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Remembering the Days: Remembering Havilah Babcock

He loved fly fishing and bird hunting and wrote numerous tales about both of those sporting passions. And when he wasn't doing those things, Havilah Babcock was in the classroom, a favorite English professor for generations of students at the University of South Carolina.

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Remembering the Days: A natural history stroll across campus

Were there always so many squirrels on the Horseshoe? And how else has campus changed in the past 200 years in regards to insects, birds, snakes and such? Take a stroll with naturalist-in-residence Rudy Mancke to learn what's changed and still changing in the natural world of campus. 

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Remembering the Days: South by southwest, the university's expansion into Ward One and Wheeler Hill

Like other universities across the nation, the University of South Carolina needed more land in the 1960s to keep up with skyrocketing student enrollment brought on by the Baby Boom. In a previous episode, we talked about the campus migration that created the east campus in the middle of the University Hill neighborhood. This episode explores the underpinnings of the campus expansion into Ward One and Wheeler Hill, which were largely obliterated by 'urban renewal' efforts that acquired more land for the university.

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Remembering the Days: Harry Walker, the underdog who won

When students at the University of South Carolina elected a new Student Government president in 1971, the event made national news. That's because, just eight years after the university was desegregated, an African American student won the election, riding a wave of support from white and Black students who were tired of the "establishment" and "the system."

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Remembering the Days: Frat House Blues -- the 30-year ban on fraternities

In the late 19th century, students at South Carolina College who were stalwart members of the institution's two debate societies felt that their clubs were threatened by the presence of fraternities on campus. They contrived a way to boot the Greek letter organizations off campus, but the ploy ultimately failed. 

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Remembering the Days: If it ain't swaying, we ain't playing

When the Gamecocks take to the football field every fall, Williams-Brice Stadium roars with the full-throated spirit of 80,000-plus diehard fans, a battalion of marching band members, cheerleaders, baton twirlers and dancers and a hyperkinetic mascot, Cocky. It’s a far cry from the first football game played on the University of South Carolina campus in 1898 when a few hundred fans huddled on simple wooden bleachers beside a field situated where the Russell House Student Union now stands.

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Remembering the Days: What's in a name?

Since its inception more than 200 years ago, the University of South Carolina has had three different names and several nicknames. But Juliet was right — that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

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Remembering the Days: Heading east

The University of South Carolina experienced enormous enrollment growth in the 1960s and began expanding its campus in several directions. Its move eastward into the University Hill neighborhood greatly expanded the campus footprint, but also stirred tensions with the residents when construction on the high-rise Capstone House began.

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Remembering the Days: Tales from the President's House, part 2

Patricia Moore-Pastides and her husband, Harris Pastides, the 28th president of the university, lived in the President's House for 11 years with thousands of college students as their closest neighbors. Patricia has a few favorite stories about that experience.

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Remembering the Days: Tales from the President's House, part 1

The President's House on the historic Horseshoe has been home to every university president since 1952. Patricia Moore-Pastides, who lived in the house as university first lady for 11 years, talked with the now-grown children of those former presidents to find out what life was like for them during their years in the President's House.