South Carolina Enters the Nuclear Age | History of SC Slide Collection

After the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the United States entered the Cold War determined to retain its leadership in nuclear warfare. One of the results of the entry into the nuclear age was a large role for South Carolina in manufacturing the raw materials of nuclear weapons at the Savannah River Plant in Barnwell and Aiken counties. Because of the nature of the manufacturing process, and because of the need for secrecy and security, a large area of the region around the proposed facility was cleared of all inhabitants. Ellenton was one of the towns moved to make way for the plant. A highway sign at the edge of Ellenton, erected in 1951, expresses the opinions of the residents about the move. The sign, which is also known as the "Dear Hearts and Gentle People" sign, is now located in the Aiken County Historical Museum.

Courtesy of the Aiken County Historical Museum.