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  • USS YorktownUSS Yorktown Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
    The USS Yorktown (CV/CVA/CVS-10) is one of the Essex class aircraft carriers that was constructed during the second World War for the US Navy, and named after the battle of Yorktown in the Revolutionary War, and the fourth vessel to proudly wear that name. She was to have been called the Bon Homme Richard, the famous ship of that same war, she would be renamed the Yorktown during her construction, to honor the USS Yorktown, CV-5 that was sunk at Midway battle in 1942. She was commissioned in 1943, and was involved in numerous campaigns in the Pacific Theater of Operations, earning 11 battle stars and the Presidential Unit Citation. The Yorktown was decommissioned a little bit after the end of WWII, until the early 1950s when she was modernized and then recommissioned as an attack carrier, CVA, eventually becoming an antisubmarine carrier, CVS, but recommissioned too late in the Korean War to head there, however, she did take part in many ops in the Pacific, including Vietnam, where she once more earned five battle stars. Later on, she would be part of the recovery group for Apollo 8 and even used in the movie, Tora! Tora! Tora! that had replicated the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Yorktown was finally decommissioned in 1970 and became a museum ship in 1975, docked at Patriot's Point, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina and was made a National Historic Landmark.

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  • Magnolia Plantation & GardensMagnolia Plantation and Gardens Charleston, South Carolina
    The Magnolia Plantation and Gardens sits on 70 beautiful acres of gardens and landscaping, another historic house on the Ashley River in Charleston, South Carolina, and one of the oldest plantations in the south, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The magnificent plantation dates back to 1676, when Thomas and Ann Drayton constructed the house and small formal garden; and is still in control of the Drayton family after 15 unbelievable generations; with the historic Drayton Hall on an adjoining property and is talked about further up the page. This was initially a rice plantation, but the property soon became well known for its exotic gardens after the Rev. John Grimke Drayton inherited the estate in the 1840s and started reworking the gardens in the old English style. John did this to entice his wife to come here from Philadelphia where she was staying, according to stories, although they didn't say if it worked or not. He was the first to plant carmelias outside in the 1820s and was believed to have brought the first azaleas to this country. The gardens grew the pink and red azaleas perfectly in the excellent soil and warm weather of the state, and framed with the huge live oak trees, the gardens of Magnolia became quite well known during the antebellum era and were even photographed by Mathew Brady, famous photographer of the Civil War. John James Audubon visited here during that time, and the plantation began growing an Audubon Swamp Garden. The house would be burned in the Civil War, either from Union troops or freed slaves, and after the war, John was forced to open the gardens as tourist attraction in 1870, making it the first man-made tourist attraction in the country, getting such famous visitors as Eleanor Roosevelt, Henry Ford, George Gershwin, Orson Welles and Reba McEntire.

February 16, 2011