in the early 20th century, during world war i, there was a camp built here just north of town, camp severe, training troops who were going over to france. one of the outfits that was organized there was the 30th, at 30 food division and this is a book that was printed after the war by some of the fellows who were in that particular unit. they sold hickory. ..
it also lists the fellows who were killed or died of disease during the war. greenville not only had a world war i military baser but during world war ii there was an army air base that was built here. it is just south of town. one thing i found interesting is pearl harbor took place december 2 1941. on december 10 in the newspaper it announced that they were building the greenville army air base. that is quick. the army was already looking at building a base, not necessarily an airbase so the bombing of pearl harbor took place, that sort of clear the way.
now i'mnow i'm calling it the greenville army air base. that was its name and until the 1950s. 1951 they renamed the airbase donaldson air force base. and after world war ii when it ended initially they thought about closing down the airbase completely, but completely, but then it went over to the transportation. so it was cargo planes flew out of greenville. they were very active during the korean war and the berlin airlift, a lot of the huge transports flew out of greenville. so our collection from colonial history, south carolina and the development of the free state of south carolina and the greenville area, especially the development of south carolina, the industry in
the area, the movement from the frontier economy basically to a textile driven economy and industry and all the way up through the wars that we went through, the military bases that were built but we're also looking forward to the future for people who grew up here and are moving here. >> this weekend we are in greenville south carolina. next author of greenville heritage talks about the history of the city. >> the book is greenville heritage. the greenville news and it
is a selection of articles which trace greenville's history from 1790. most of the articles focused on the 19th and early 20th centuries. greenville was a resort, summer is part of people from the low country. in the early 19th century maybe even earlier than that. south carolina that the coast found malaria, yellow fever. in charleston helen summer.
in order to get to a healthier place charles tony is low country plantation owners left the great country in great forwards. and some few minutes you know the way up to greenville which was a backward frontier. in the late 1820s it wasn't quite so pleasant for settlers to go north. abolitionists not quite as much enthusiasm as they had earlier.
opera singers, lectures. there was no railroad yet. but even in the early years it was very charming, people would go to the reading their picnic dances and balls at the mansion house a very lovely place. unfortunately the university came to town. it brought a more somber cloud. not quite so much booze. there had been a lot of liquor.
a few more sober and responsible people. one whole thing beginning before the civil war and then with the great masses surge starting in the 1890s was a textile center. it was a place where we called it the textile crescent, a series of mills, 14 of them surrounded greenville. one of the very earliest ones. they were trying to avoid taxes. on the southern railway which was so essential. bringing in cotton for that matter. in the cotton fields the source of water that was really excellent cheap
labor, very cheap labor, and on, and unionized. this was a place for the north came eventually to put in mills but also misunderstood themselves. so one of the things that happened starting in the 1890s when you have the surge, the names now in greenville beginning to fade , but for years if you said polar brandon mulligan or mills people knew exactly what you were talking about. and they belonged to communities. they were a part of -- one of the finest books entitled micha family. and they were. and in those mills the mills themselves, because they wanted control, the villages
sometimes, well, for example 2500 to 3,000 people, justin and commodities were big concentrations so close to each other that everyone knew everyone else's business. and although the manufacturers have decided that they would not raise anytime anyone did one little thing out everyone else started looking. this is really built, the sense of committee. it began with baseball pilsner piedmont mills played doubleheaders in the 1880s, but by the turn-of-the-century, by 1900
baseball was everywhere. every village had its own baseball field. some of them had bleachers, diane. this was big stuff. and then went to hawaii in training camp in new york, met james who of course started basketball, got the rules, stopped off in new york and broader basketball after the south and started in 1970 you have basketball being played here. and then it just goes wild, involving nivea thousand people. not one basketball team before. a, b, women's, place command
sometimes girls. it is everywhere. billy held these villages together. after the 1940s and 1950s and 60s most will still doing really, really well. but they did not have that same feeling of being like a family anymore because the mill owners began to sell off the villages. a seed ofthey seat in the rest of the county. they no longer provided security and electricity at $0.25 around and coal and wood at wholesale price. all of that began to go away and at the same time the force of japanese competition. in the 1950s japan was
still making rather crude kids, but that was going to change. the 1st will close this camper down. it started in 1874. and it wasn't yet, but in the late 60s things were okay, but more and more emphasis on making sure that people no longer living in their own villages. they had cars now. there were living wages. and they began to forget the textile heritage. so one heritage. so one of the things that i tried to do in this book is to put some of them back together again.
i think that is absolutely fascinating. and there are other things as well. you see the impact of how downtown changed over the years. that too is a part of the heritage, how downtown busy bustling in the 1950s downhill so rapidly. so that is a part of the story is trying to tell. >> during a recent visit to greenville, south carolina we spoke with courtney to listen about the long-term impact. >> the nation really became interested in world war ii in the early to mid- 1990s. it came out, the specifics
were published for so many world war ii veterans were buying every day. a generation of people extremely beautiful the nation and the families and they return home from often traumatic experiences and they just wanted to get on with their lives. many of them did not talk about their experiences. for decades many people thought this was a generation amendment who would not talk about these experiences. people really started to pursue this more aggressively in the early 1990s. the world war ii memorial opened in the 1990s. vendor brothers came out and all of a sudden our country begin paying so much more attention to this greatest generation, more so than we had in a long time.
during our research for the book and this project more generally we realized in many ways greenville south carolina experienced this in ways extremely similar to the rest of the nation. they planted victory garden, rationed sugar and butter and other materials. what we discovered was that there was one area that really truly set this community apart from the rest of the nation, the textile and apparel manufacturing mills in this area. the textile capitol of the world within a 100-mile radius, over 460 mills. so where we are now actually produced herringbone for the
united states marine corps. there were hundreds of items manufactured here in local mills. the material for parachutes, bandages, tents, raincoat fabric, the material for uniforms was died here, mattress covers made for the navy the double as flotation devices should a ship sink, and the list goes on and on. during the great depression the mills worked maybe one week on in one week off for one day on one day off. and in 1939, september 1939 when you're up on tour our allies looked to washington dc for the goods and materials that they needed. they were nations of war and they look to us to help them out. washington dc look down to
the textile capitol of the world and government contracts came following in to this area asking mills here, the textile and apparel mills to begin producing for the war effort initially for our allies and then of course the united states as well. immediately in the fall of 1939 bc the price of cotton rising. also, those. also, those mills that had been one week on one week off one day on one day off all of a sudden begin running around-the-clock three shifts a day seven days a week. the impact economically was tremendous to the local area. all of a sudden the apparel manufacturing mills are producing at full capacity for full momentum as much as they can. and the textile mill operators infused they work
with a great deal of patriotic fervor and meaning this was there way of serving the war effort, contributing to the war effort domestically. working in the mills, producing goods to support our military and our allies. there were other ways that this area benefited economically from world war ii as well. we had several bases in the community. there was a training center in spartanburg, south carolina, camp across. we had the greenville army air base which trained the 25 replacement crews. that is a lot of growth and development and a lot of people coming into this area one aspect that i appreciated about including civilians who serve the war effort from a domestic standpoint was hearing about what happens here in
greenville in spartanburg during the war. they told us a lot about the church services that occurred, the person were offered at the end of the war, churches establishing rooms to help reading rooms rooms for letterwriting another local church posts 11,000. the local community really stepped up and embrace the soldiers inviting them to their homes for dinner. of course the red cross is active. it was interesting to talk.
we gathered lots of different toys all very patriotic themes. one of them was a small really classic sort of circular have so children concern is unofficial spawners during the war. religious diversity also after the war because again you have a lot of people returning to the area he trained hear from the northeast. seven catholic church is that opened within the 2530 years after world war ii and of course it is absolutely more than coincidence. brown versus board of education was sent down less than one decade, nine years
later, nine years after the end of world war ii. serving in the war effort, going overseas, taking a great deal of pride also the ideological reasons why i found after the fact was that the veterans from 2,007 talk to me about the service in world war ii militarily and then they would talk about experiences during the american civil rights movement. they would also discuss the hopes that were outstanding, hopes that have yet to be realized for our nation. if you fast-forward and look at the interviews i did in the late fall 2,008 or in 2,009 all of a sudden those
african-american vets placed there were experience in a radically different context. memories are organic and all of our life experiences are constantly working on memories and the shift them to give new meaning. the veterans from 2,008 and nine all of a sudden started to think differently about their service. they started to see it as part of the spectrum, part of the arc toward this nation realizing its founding values and they begin to take more pride and were far more optimistic. one thing that i had perhaps underestimated when interviewing veteran specifically was the extent
to which this was a sensory experience for them that they recalled very acutely. [inaudible] you could see the island. and then the navy and marine air carbonic to smithereens. the fact is, we just thought it was over. put the flag of go home. >> often times in these interviews i would be on camera in the asking questions of the veteran. talking about the battle of the bulge. his body were contract.
seeing bodies thrown over the beach, that immense tropical heat and the smell and the sound of flies buzzing around the bodies. you could see that play out in someone's body language. it would be called forth so much during these will history interviews command it was often times very emotional experience. we began honoring them with the country history museums annual veterans day ceremony , it was very interesting to see their responses and reaction. of course this is a patriotic region of the country.
i feel like they felt particularly honored by the fact that not only to behold the 1st veterans day celebration but that we also took so much time with each of them to sit down and record the memories and not only record the memories but preserve the memories. this truly was a total war effort. all aspects and elements of our society socially, politically, economically are oriented toward winning this war. it really is a tremendous example of the community coming together like so many other communities did around the nation toward that effort. >> for more information go to c-span.org/cities tour.
>> every day books are reviewed by publications throughout the country. naval academy english professor including slope most of it. he writes the book is loaded with horror stories, stories of procrastination obfuscation. determination ultimate success. and much of what is new is his extensive interviews with special forces soldiers , a wide range of war crimes investigators and intelligence officials. nick littlefield and david nextnext line's recounting of the life of the late senator ted kennedy was reviewed in "usa today".
>> the good news is is that with a lot of things if you have als from alzheimer's, pancreatic cancer, there is not much that can be done. the vast majority we only have enough to make a huge difference. we just don't provided in an accessible way. the only way that this kind of gets the attention of mass violence incident. untreated and kills people. >> watch for these programs and more.