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Fort Jackson, SC

Camp Jackson Theatre was built in 1917
and had a capacity of 3,000

Fort Jackson Theatre - WW2 era

Theaters on Fort Jackson (1917- present)
Columbia, SC

The following is derived from the web site of the Fort Jackson Museum - Click Here to visit the museum site

In 1916 war with the Central Powers in Europe was imminent, and the country badly needed new, large training camps.
On 2 June 1917, Congressional approval of a plan to place a training center on the vast estate of South Carolina's Wade Hampton just east of Columbia. Three days later the men of the nation registered for the draft.

Camp Jackson had a capacity of 44,009 persons; 1,554 buildings, with a camp area of 2,737 acres, and 12,804 acres for the total reservation. By early 1918, contractors had built a city of 1,519 buildings, including theaters, stores, kitchens, barracks, officers’ quarters, training facilities, stables, warehouses, garages, an airfield, roads, bridges, railroads, a reservoir and water lines, sewers, wells, heating plants, and a laundry.

Followng WW1, the camp was abandoned. But, that would not last for long. In November 1939, two years before Pearl Harbor, the United States began enlarging its military installations as the “Blitzkrieg” swept across Europe . Suddenly, Camp Jackson was activated again as the streamlined 6th Division of the Regular Army was ordered to duty in October 1939, only one month after the outbreak of war between Britain and Germany.

By January 1941, new appropriations caused construction to soar as new troops were ordered to Fort Jackson . The total money spent thus far on additional construction at Fort Jackson was $18,375,000, providing housing, recreation, maintenance, and other facilities for 43,000 officers and enlisted men. A new water system replaced the old one Camp Jackson had used during World War I.

Fort Jackson grew to be South Carolina ’s third largest city, surpassed in population only by Charleston and Columbia . Visitors to the Post were awed when shown this far-flung Army reservation, with row upon row of neat, white-painted barracks buildings, parade grounds and training areas; a hospital one mile in length; acres of warehouses, utilities and motor sheds; and the theater and recreation buildings which dotted the Post’s living area. Construction of more than 3,000 buildings and 6,000 winterized tents, linked by more than 100 miles of hard-surfaced roads and streets, in such a short time was truly amazing.

Following WW2, the United States continued to need a large standing Army. Fort Jackson continued to server as the country saw war in Korea and then Viet Nam. With the establishment of the modern volunteer Army in 1970 and the need to promote the attractiveness of service life, construction peaked in an effort to modernize facilities and improve services. In June 1973, Fort Jackson was designated as a U.S. Army Training Center.

In 1994, the Soldier Support Institute was transfered from Fort Benjamin Harrison to Fort Jackson. The United States Army Chaplain Center and School, a complex costing approximately $7.4 million, "broke ground" August 1, 1995. In 1999, the DoD Polygraph Institute moved to Fort Jackson from Fort McClellan, Alabama.

Fort Jackson's goal is to be the finest living, working and training environment it can be. "Victory Starts Here", as it has since 1917. To learn more, visit the Fort Jackson Museum, located across from post headquarters on Jackson Boulevard. The gallery is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and closed weekends and Federal holidays. Phone: (803) 751-7419.


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