Interview with Thomas R. Waring
QUESTION 1
INTERVIEWER:

HERE WE GO. NOW JUST REMEMBER, THIS IS JUST A CONVERSATION BETWEEN THE TWO OF US. ALL THESE OTHER PEOPLE DON'T EXIST. YOU'RE JUST TALKING TO ME. MMMKAY? NOW THIS, THIS FIRST QUESTION IS, COULD YOU GIVE US A SORT OF BRIEF WORD PICTURE OF LIFE IN THE SOUTH AT THIS POINT, THE EARLY 1950S, UM, PARTICULARLY IN TERMS OF RACE RELATIONS?

Thomas R. Waring:

Mmmmhmmm… Well, in the 1950s in Charleston were a quiet time. It was between world wars. Uh, Charleston had been a sleepy old southern city for a hundred years. The aftermath of the Civil War had been quite difficult for the South generally, and Charleston too. And World War I brought in some uh, new employment, and additional economic developments, but not nearly as much as World War II was to do in later years, so the 1950s were in-between time, uh, insofar as race relations go. We… we old settlers, and I speak as one whose family goes back nine generations from me, uh, we thought we had very good, amicable relations with – between the races. And we were somewhat taken aback by the vehemence of the movements that went on to knock down what were called uh, segregation laws and customs, many of which aren't even spelled out. They're just – um, everybody sort of knew how things worked, and were reasonably happy with them.