Capital of South Carolina, on the Congaree River; seat of Richland County; population (2000 est) 116,300. Columbia is the centre of an agricultural region; industries include the manufacture of textiles, plastics, electrical goods, fertilizers, items for the nuclear power industry, and hosiery. It was incorporated in 1805 and was made a city in 1854.
History Columbia was only the second planned city in the USA when it was laid out in 1786. The city was burned by Union troops (under the command of General Sherman) in 1865, near the end of the Civil War. Fort Jackson (1917), the largest basic army training centre in the USA, is nearby.
Features Columbia's historic townscape is commemorated by 101 entries on the national register of historic places. Attractions include the South Carolina State Museum, which is housed in a former electic textile plant dating from 1893, and the Columbia Museum of Art (1950), Riverbanks Zoo (1974), the Three Rivers Music Festival, and the South Carolina Philharmonic. Columbia is the seat of several colleges including the University of South Carolina at Columbia (1801), Allen University (1870), Benedict College (1870), and Columbia College (1923). Columbia was the childhood home of the 28th president, Woodrow Wilson (1856–1924). The long-serving South Carolina senator Strom Thurmond (1902–2003) lived in the city.