Senator Tim Scott’s (R-SC) Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park Act was approved by the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. The legislation will revamp the protections overseeing some of South Carolina’s most historic locations.
“South Carolina’s history is an essential chapter of our American story, and today we are one step closer to helping preserve some of our state’s most important and historic sites,” said Scott. “By officially classifying Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie as nationally recognized historical park, we can rest assured these areas will continue to be enjoyed by local residents and visitors for years to come.”
The bill also has the potential to enhance local economic opportunities for the surrounding area by increased tourism and visitation.
Helen T. Hill, CEO of Explore Charleston, said, “The importance of Forts Sumter and Moultrie to our state’s and the nation’s heritage cannot be overstated. Both forts serve as constant reminders of the sacrifices made by free and enslaved persons in the founding and defense of our nation. Their importance to our collective heritage and to Charleston’s tourism economy make them very deserving of the national park designation.”
Specific details of the bill include:
• Establishes Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park
• Codifies clear and defining boundaries of federally managed land at Fort Sumter
• Recognizes the importance of Fort Sumter, Fort Moultrie, and the Sullivan’s Island Life
• Saving Station Historic District in American history and the role they played in protecting the Charleston Harbor during the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and the development of the United States coastal defense system from 1776 to 1947
• Commemorates the lives of the free and enslaved workers who built Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie, the soldiers who defended the forts, the prisoners held there, and the captive Africans brought to America as slaves
• Bolsters the tourism potential of the community by increasing the visibility, prestige, and notoriety of the sites by upgrading the federal designation to national park.
Each year, Fort Sumter National Monument and Fort Moultrie attract nearly a million visitors to see where the first shots of the Civil War were fired on April 12, 1861. Fort Sumter has been recognized as a national monument since 1948, and since 1960, Fort Moultrie has been administered by the National Parks Service as part of Fort Sumter without a clear management mandate or established boundary.♦