FMU to host S.C. Humanities Festival, March 23-24
FLORENCE, S.C. – Francis Marion University will host the 8th-annual South Carolina Humanities Festival, March 23-24.
The festival, which is free and open to the public, begins Friday, March 23, with “An Evening with Mark Twain,” featuring George Frein, director of the National Chatauqua Tour. The program will be held in the McNair Science Building auditorium beginning at 8 p.m.
The theme of Saturday’s events is “Pee Dee Stories.” During three sessions, FMU professors and local historians will present various aspects of the Pee Dee’s history.
The first session, “Introduction to Pee Dee Places and People,” begins at 9:30 a.m. in the McNair auditorium and will look at the Florence Stockade, Florena Budwin, the atomic bomb at Mars Bluff, the notorious Bigham family of Pamplico, and FBI agent Melvin Purvis, a Florence native who apprehended John Dillinger.
The second session, “Agriculture and Technology,” begins at 10:45 a.m. and will examine tobacco and its impact on the Pee Dee, David Coker and cotton, and the life of astronaut Ron McNair of Lake City.
Lunch will be served at 11:45 a.m. in the Ervin Dining Hall on campus for $5.25 per person.
At 1:30 p.m., visitors can choose from three concurrent sessions. The first presentation will feature retired FMU history professor Joseph Stukes portraying Gen. Francis Marion, followed by Nick Ziegler’s tales of Col. Barnwell. Visitors can also take part in a van tour of local black historical sites narrated by Amelia Wallace Vernon, or tour the Hewn Timber Houses on campus.
For more information, call Libby Cooper, FMU’s director of community relations, at 843-661-1225.
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