Day three of the Southern Culture tour emphasized the uniqueness of Savannah, Georgia.
To start the morning off, we attended the GPSA’s (Georgia Political Science Association) Conference at the Doubletree Hotel in Savannah, Georgia. Deanna and Annel started by attending a panel discussing Criminal Justice, while Taylor and I enjoyed a presentation titled “Terrorism: Past, Present, and Future”. The panel was insightful, dealing with the comparison of different Middle Eastern terrorist groups (such as Hamas, Hezbollah, and Al Qaeda), past terrorist groups (Narodnaya Volya in the 19th century), and America’s efforts in combating future terrorist threats. I personally enjoyed the ‘past terrorist group’ presentation by Mr. Samuel, focusing on the Narodnaya Volya (also known as The People’s Will) and their uprising against the Russian government in 1881 leading to the assassination of Czar Alexander II. Mr. Samuel’s argument was based on the belief that past terrorist groups, such as The People’s Will, are better organized and possessed better ideologies and goals…compared to the goals and theories of today’s terrorist groups (e.g., Hamas, PKK [Kurdish Workers’ Party]).
Apart from experiencing our first conference, the Junior Fellows took a trolley tour around downtown Savannah, Georgia, gaining an overview of the city’s unique design.
James Oglethorpe, the founder of the colony of Georgia, designed Savannah with twenty-one squares laid out in the city filled with various statues, monuments, fountains, and beautiful vegetation. Although not entirely replicated anywhere in the country, many areas have paid homage to Savannah’s design and, in fact, this type of planning is now called the “Oglethorpe Plan.”
My favorite square in Savannah, Georgia was the Franklin Square. Franklin Square’s monument included a statue of several Haitian American soldiers, who fought on the American and French side in the Revolutionary War to drive the British troops out of Savannah, Georgia. Also, I found Johnson Square interesting since this square included the statue and grave of Nathanael Greene, a major general who served as 2nd-in-command to George Washington in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. The trolley tour took us to River Street, which is parallel to the Savannah River, where the statue of the “Waving Girl” stands to greet visitors and ships.
Our first “taste” of Savannah, Georgia was experienced at Clary’s Cafe — this restaurant is mentioned in the book “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” by John Berendt. Deanna, Taylor, and Annel ordered soups and salads, while I enjoyed the cafe’s club sandwich (turkey, ham, and bacon) on wheat bread. We decided not to fill ourselves too much since our dinner would be the most filling and anticipated meal of the day. At the suggestion—insistence?—of Deanna Tyler, we were scheduled to visit Paula Deen’s restaurant, “The Lady and Sons.”
This restaurant was everything (and more); we ordered the buffet, including the selection of: chicken fried steak, fried chicken, jumbo shrimp, mashed potatoes, green beans, candied yams, corn bread casserole, and other delicious vegetables. The buffet also included peach cobbler, buttered cake, and banana pudding.
Of course, in between meals we had other stops in mind. In particular, we visited Tybee Island, located on the outside of Savannah, Georgia, near the Atlantic Ocean. In the Tybee Island Lighthouse, we experienced the beautiful view of the city’s landscape and the Atlantic Ocean. After touring the lighthouse, the Junior Fellows enjoyed a nice walk on the beach; taking pictures and collecting sea shells for souvenirs.
From the conference to the restaurants to the tour to the beach, it was a day as unique as the City that offered the experience: Savannah, GA.