Great Depression and World War II

Stringing tobacco

Stringing Tobacco in Florence County, Summer 1938. Image from the Library of Congress, created by the US Farm Security Administration.

South Carolinians during the Great Depression faced significant hardships, only relieved with the economic relief of World War II.

South Carolinians in World War II

The Great Depression


  • Ocean Forest Hotel
    This grand hotel in Myrtle Beach opened in 1930 and had gardens, marble staircases, crystal chandeliers, and exclusive clientele.
  • City of Proud Memories
    Watch a documentary of Charleston, SC from the 1930s.
  • Ration Coupons on the Home Front, 1942-1945 
    During World War II, Americans were rationed and only able to buy a certain amount of items such as tires, gasoline, food, and cars.
  • Jeanes Supervisors
    Jeanes Supervisors were African American women trained to be model teachers in their communities.
  • Melvin Purvis
    Born in Timmonsville, SC, Melvin Purvis was an FBI agent responsible for ending the criminal careers of Baby Face Nelson, Pretty Boy Floyd, and John Dillinger.

Photographs from Around the State

  • Picturing the 1930s
    Explore the virtual theater to learn about the Great Depression, the New Deal, and other events of the 1930s.
  • General Interior Store
    See what a store had on its shelf in Florence County in the 1930s.
  • Dorothea Lange
    Dorothea Lange took photographs of rural poverty and sharecroppers from around the country, including South Carolina.
  • Agriculture (1925 - 1960)
    See photographs of farming in our state, including planting of kudzu, 4-H projects, and growing cattle.

Places and Events

Julia Peterkin

julia peterkinPortrait of Julia Peterkin. Image from the Library of Congress.

Julia Peterkin was a writer from Laurens County who wrote about the African American experience in the South.