Prehistoric peoples who roamed the Atlantic coast reached what is now South Carolina possibly 10,000 to 15,000 years ago. By the time European explorers arrived in the 16th century A.D. , the area was occupied by a number of Indian tribes. The most prominent were the Catawabas, Cherokees, Cusabos, and Yamasees.

Important dates in South Carolina
1521 Francisco Gordillo of Spain explored the Carolina coast.
1670 English settlers established the first permanent white settlement in South Carolina, at Albemarle Point.
1719 South Carolina became a separate royal province.
1780 American forces won the Battle of Kings Mountain, a turning point in the Revolutionary War.
1788 South Carolina became the 8th state on May 23.
1832 South Carolina passed the Ordinance of Nullification.
1860 South Carolina seceded from the Union on Dec. 20.
1861 The Civil War began on April 12 when Confederate forces fired on Fort Sumter.
1868 South Carolina was readmitted to the Union.
1877 Reconstruction ended in South Carolina.
1895 South Carolina adopted its present constitution.
1953 Operations began at the Savannah River Plant, which produces nuclear materials.
1964 South Carolina voted for Barry M. Goldwater, the first Republican presidential candidate to carry the state since the Reconstruction.
1970 Three blacks won election to the state House of Representatives. They became the first blacks to serve in South Carolina's House since 1902.
1974 James B. Edwards became the first Republican to be elected governor since 1874.
1983 The Reverend I. DeQuincey Newman became the first black elected to the state Senate since 1888.
1989 Hurricane Hugo struck South Carolina, killing 18 people and causing $5 billion in property damage.
2003 Congaree National Park, the first national park in the state, was established.