This paper investigates the ways in which contemporary social and political events shaped the commemoration of the Civil War Centennial in 1960s South Carolina. The Centennial dramatically revealed that the issues that had divided the nation in the nineteenth century remained unresolved in the twentieth. The attempt to create a comprehensive and unifying celebration by avoiding slavery as a major topic was simply not possible amidst the national conflict over segregation. The commemoration ironically came to an explosive head in Charleston a hundred years after the first shots at Fort Sumter.

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