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Historical South Carolina Newspapers: Progressive Era

Delve into the rich content of historical South Carolina newspapers dating from 1836 to 1922 through suggested topics, important dates, interesting articles, and tips for searching.

Selected Articles Found in Chronicling America

Progressive Era Topics Guide

Suggested Search Terms:

18th Amendment Compulsory Education Road Improvements
19th Amendment Gov. Robert A. Cooper S.C. Progressive Party
Gov. Coleman L. Blease Democratic Party Speakeasy
Blind Tiger Dispensary State Hospital for the Insane
Boll Weevil Dr. Joseph Goldberger State League of Women's Voters
Chautauqua Gov. Richard I. Manning Benjamin Tillman
Child Labor Pellagra Volstead Act

Suggested Search Strategies:

  • To find  contemporary articles during the Progressive era, limit your search to between 1900 and 1922.

Important Dates:       

1907 Liquor Dispensary system is abolished by the General Assembly. Each county in the state is free to adopt Prohibition.
High Schools are put under the supervision of the General Assembly.
1909 Around half of the state's counties have adopted Prohibition.

Richard Manning begins his first term as governor. He encourages reform and progressive policies, unlike his predecessor Coleman Blease.

South Carolina establishes statewide Prohibition.

The General Assembly passes a statewide compulsory education law.

Dr. Joseph Goldberger links pellagra to poor diet while studying patients at the Spartanburg Pellagra Hospital. The cause had previously been unknown.

Governor Richard Manning commissions a report on poor conditions at the State Hospital for the Insane leading to better treatment for patients.

1916 The General Assembly passes a child labor law that raises the minium age of employment to 14.
Richard Manning is re-elected to a second term as governor in November.

 The boll weevil comes to South Carolina.

The United States enters World War I.

Governor Manning establishes the State Highway Comission to improve roads in South Carolina.


Epidemic of Spanish Influenza in South Carolina.

World War I ends.


 The 18th Amendment is ratified, prohibiting the sale of alchoholic beverages  in the United States.


The 19th Amendment extends suffrage to American women. South Carolina did not ratify it until 1969.


The General Assembly sets the maximum time of a 10 hour work day and a 55 hour work week for textile mills.

Images & Headlines Found in Chronicling America

Governor Richard  Manning, circa 1915

"No Beer--No Work!," 1920

Blind Tigers of Charleston, 1906

Photo of Child Laborers, 1915

Women of State to Vote, 1920

Bad Roads Burden, 1912