By BRUCE SMITH
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, the first black U.S. senator from the deep South since Reconstruction, is proposing that the site where the Civil War began be raised in status to a national park.
The Republican lawmaker has introduced a Senate bill creating the Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Park.
Fort Sumter on Charleston Harbor is where the first shots of the Civil War were fired in 1861. Fort Moultrie, on nearby Sullivans Island, is where American patriots turned back a British fleet trying to capture Charleston days before the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776.
The forts are part of the Fort Sumter National Monument.
Scott says designating them as a national park will raise the profiles of the sites and attract more visitors.