March 18

1825: General Lafayette arrives in Beaufort to a 13-gun salute and speaks to citizens from the John Mark Verdier House, also known as the Lafayette Building. Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier – better known as Marquis de La Fayette or simply General Lafayette in the United States – was a French aristocrat and military officer who fought in the American Revolutionary War, commanding American troops in several battles, including Yorktown. In 1824, Lafayette returned to the U.S. and traveled through 24 states and the District of Columbia.

2009: Author Pat Conroy, for whom Beaufort played a prominent role both in his works and his life, is inducted into the South Carolina Hall of Fame. Among Conroy’s works are The Water Is Wide, The Lords of Discipline, The Prince of Tides and The Great Santini.

March 19

2016: The Pat Conroy Literary Center is incorporated as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. The center houses a collection of Conroy memorabilia and seeks to continue his legacy. 

March 20

1565: Pedro Menendez de Aviles, eventual founder of Santa Elena, is named the first Governor of Florida by Spanish King Philip II. 

– Compiled by Mike McCombs

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