C-SPAN producers are road-tripping this summer and are in Charleston this week.
C-SPAN's 2011 Cities Tour began in May and will end in December. One city across the South will be visited each month for a total of eight.
The network arrived Monday. The producers will document the history and literary scene of the city by visiting various sites and interviewing authors, historians and community leaders all week.
The footage will be used for American History TV/C-SPAN3 and BookTV/C-SPAN2 and is scheduled to air July 30-31. The network partnered with Comcast here to organize the events.
Bill Watson, vice president and general manager for Comcast locally, said that he is excited about C-SPAN being here. The history is so rich here that they could spend months filming, he said.
On Monday, the producers spent the day with College of Charleston historian Bernard Powers visiting African-American heritage sites. Later they went to the Lasch Conservation Center to see the Confederate submarine Hunley.
They also visited Civil War sites with author and historian Robert Rosen, who lectured about South Carolina's secession from the Union on Tuesday at the kick-off event at the Charleston Library Society on King Street.
Opening remarks were given by C-SPAN president Susan Swain. Swain said the network is doing this tour because it wanted to focus on more than Washington, D.C. Charlotte and Tampa are profiled because the Democratic and Republican National Conventions are being held there.
Swain and the rest of her C-SPAN team will be in Charleston until Friday. She said that she has visited Charleston several times over the years as a tourist but has enjoyed learning about the city's rich history.
Charleston was on the way and the timing was great because of the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War.
While here producers also will visit the Heyward-Washington House (the 1772 home of Revolutionary patriot and signer of the Declaration of Independence Thomas Heyward Jr.), Snee Farm Plantation and the Old Slave Market.
They plan to interview such authors as Susan Miller Williams and Stephen Hoffius ("Upheaval in Charleston: Earthquake and Murder on the Eve of Jim Crow"), Jason Ryan ("Jackpot: High Times, High Seas, and the Sting the Launched the War on Drugs") and Edmund L. Drago ("Broke by the Water: Letters of a Slave Trader").
The three LVCs are specially detailed with the C-SPAN logo and are equipped with the latest technology.
Other cities on the tour are Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fla.; Savannah; Frankfort, Ky.; Charlotte; Knoxville, Tenn.; Birmingham, Ala.; and Baton Rouge, La.
For more information and to read their blog go to c-span.org/localcontent.