John C. Calhoun Statue Taken Down from its Perch above Charleston’s Marion SquareBreaking News
tags: racism, secession, monuments, public history, Protest
With a diamond band saw and a giant crane, a weary crew of workers Wednesday afternoon plucked the 12-foot-tall bronze statue of John C. Calhoun from its towering perch over Charleston’s Marion Square and lowered the divisive effigy to the ground amid a chorus of cheers and songs.
The removal took more than 17 hours, much longer than city officials expected.
The sculpture of Calhoun stood for nearly 124 years on a metal base, set like a puzzle piece into a hole cut out of the top of the stone column. The monument to the former vice president and fierce defender of slavery was thought to be set with a layer of epoxy that ran inches deep. A long metal lightning rod embedded in concrete ran through the column, from Calhoun’s right shoe 115 feet to the ground.
All this made for a daunting cross section of granite, concrete, epoxy and metal that tested the saw’s diamond-encrusted wire for hours.
Then, at 5 p.m., as the work crews made their final adjustments, a nearby church’s bells chimed “Amazing Grace.”
Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said moments later: “Like racism, he was deeply rooted in there.”
The removal happened nearly 23 hours after a unanimous City Council voted to send the Calhoun statue to a place of study and learning. It’s unclear where. For the moment, it will be placed in storage, city officials said.
comments powered by Disqus
- How Jimi Hendrix’s London Years Changed Music
- Presidential Campaigns are Almost Always about the Future. In 2020, the Candidates Cannot Stop Talking about the Past
- Richard and the Revolutionaries: Why did Lefties Love Wagner?
- Trump Alleges ‘Left-Wing Indoctrination’ in Schools, Says He will Create National Commission to Push More ‘Pro-American’ History
- Black Leaders Launch ‘1776 Unites’ High School Curriculum
- 52 Years Ago, Thelonious Monk Played a High School. Now Everyone Can Hear It.
- From MLK to Whistleblowers, the FBI’s Trouble with Dissidents
- If the Electoral College is a Racist Relic, Why has it Endured? (podcast)
- It’s the 100th Anniversary of the Wall Street Bombing
- Ed Bearss, Past Chief Historian Of National Park Service, Dies At 97