Settled by the English in 1670, South Carolina became the eighth state to ratify the U.S. constitution in 1788.Itsearly economy was largely agricultural, benefitting from thearea’s fertile soil,andplantation farmersrelied on theslave trade for cheap labor to maximize their profits. By 1730,people of African descent made up two thirds of the colony’spopulation. South Carolinabecame the first state to secede from the union in 1861, and was the site of the first shots of the Civil War–the shellingof the federally heldFort Sumter by Confederate troops on April 12, 1861. Today, South Carolina coastline near Myrtle Beach has developed into one of the premiere resort destinations on the East Coast, and has over 100 golf courses. Famous South Carolinians include musicians James Brown, Chubby Checker and Dizzy Gillespie, novelist Pat Conroy, boxer Joe Frazier, tennis champion Althea Gibson, politician Jesse Jackson and long-serving U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond.