SCPC Holiday Schedule

holly border topSCPC will be open on Monday, December 22nd,

and will then close for the Christmas break. 

We will be open for business again beginning

Friday, January 2nd.

Enjoy your holidays!

holly border bottom

Posted in ., holiday schedule | Comments Off

Goldwater Nomination Speeches from the 1960 Republican National Convention (Arizona State University)

Arizona State University Libraries holds the Barry Goldwater papers.  Rob Spindler and his excellent staff at their department of Archives and Special Collections, at our request, recently digitized NBC’s coverage of speeches made at the 1960 Republican National Convention nominating Goldwater for President.

Goldwater

Barry Goldwater (LIFE magazine)

Viewers will enjoy commentators Chet Huntley and David Brinkley and hear seconding speeches by Gov. Paul Fannin of Arizona, Cong. Bruce Alger of Texas, our own Gregory D. Shorey, Roy Houck of South Dakota, and Cong. John Rhodes of Arizona.  Finally, they will hear a stirring speech by Goldwater as he withdrew his name in favor of Richard Nixon.

Goldwater’s powerful speech presents a strong case for the conservative wing of the Party.  The newscasters noted that South Carolina and Arizona delegates “seemed to lead” the Goldwater demonstration on the Convention floor.  In his dynamic seconding speech, Shorey called Goldwater, “the most courageous legislator of our time.”

The hour long program can be seen at this link

Contributed by Herb Hartsook

Check out our other posts celebrating the 50th anniversary of Goldwater’s 1964 campaign here, here, and here.

Posted in collections, spotlight | Comments Off

Goodbye, Lori

Lori and her piles (processing the Hollings Papers)

Lori and her piles (processing a collection)

Lori Schwartz, SCPC’s longtime Special Projects Archivist, will leave us in December to join the staff of the University of Nebraska Omaha’s Criss Library as the Chuck Hagel Archivist.  Hagel is the 24th and current U.S. Secretary of Defense.  The Republican Hagel has served as Secretary since 2013.  Previously, he represented Nebraska in the U.S. Senate from 1997 to 2009. He won two Purple Hearts in Vietnam as an infantry squad leader, then entered into a successful career in business, where his accomplishments included  co-founding Vanguard Cellular.  His collection currently chiefly documents his two terms in the Senate.

 

hollings and lori

Senator Hollings and Lori at his book signing in 2008

Lori worked for SCPC for three years as a graduate assistant and was then hired as our fourth and final Hollings Papers Project Archivist in 2004.  She completed the processing of the Hollings Collection and assisted the Senator with research for his book, Making Government Work.  She also created the digital publication, Fritz Hollings: In His Own Words, a selection of some 200 documents consisting of 800 pages from the Hollings papers that has become the model for our In Their Own Words series.  In the process, she clearly became Hollings’ favorite archivist, whom he termed his “little lady.”

Dorothy and Lori inspecting the Hollings Library Reading Room prior to the big move in 2010

Dorothy and Lori having a little fun inspecting the Hollings Library prior to the big move in 2010.  Photo by Tucky Taylor.

Among her other accomplishments, Lori planned and supervised the 2010 move of SCPC from the Pearle Warehouse to the Hollings Library.  Thanks to her careful planning and diligence, this immense project proceeded flawlessly.  Some will point to her co-creation of SCPC’s Cheese Day celebration as her greatest contribution to the Library.  Cheese Day has grown almost every year and has spread to other repositories as former graduate students mentored by Lori have found employment through the profession.

Lori will be sorely missed and we wish her well in her new position.

Lori's favorite photo of SCPC staff, circa 2012 L-R: Dorothy, Kate, Caitlin, Virginia, Lori, Katharine, Laura plus Herb on the couch

Lori’s favorite photo of SCPC staff, circa 2012

Lori's favorite photo of SCPC staff, circa 2012 L-R: Dorothy, Kate, Caitlin, Virginia, Lori, Katharine, Laura plus Herb on the couch

Both photos by Kathy Dowell for USC Libraries

Posted in behind-the-scenes | Comments Off

An Evocative Letter from the Trenches of World War I

SCPC is receiving papers of Sarah Leverette, a 1943 graduate of the USC School of Law who served as Law Librarian from 1947 to 1972 and who has been a leader in the South Carolina League of Voters for over fifty years.  An inspirational figure, she currently works as a realtor and continues to serve the League of Women Voters as a staunch voice for good government.  “Fritz” Hollings remembers Sarah with great fondness, noting he’ll never forget her for coming in early every day during the 1945 Christmas holiday to open the law library so that he and other students, many WWII vets, could study.

Grandfather Leverette WWI Photo

In the course of this work, I have gotten to know Steve Casey, Sarah’s nephew.  Many families are lucky to have one member who serves as the family historian and Steve is a most able historian for his extended family and he is generously sharing much of his family’s history with the University.   Among the treasures we recently received was a typescript of the following letter written from the trenches of France by Sarah’s father, Steve’s grandfather, Doughboy Stephen Ernest Leverette.  It is among the most evocative and moving wartime letters I have read.  A German offensive launched on July 15 began the Second Battle of the Marne and was to be Germany’s final push of the Great War.  It resulted in a major Allied victory.   For their steadfast performance during the attack on Allied lines, Leverette’s Division, the 3rd, earned the nickname “The Rock of the Marne.”

                                             France, Aug’st 20. 1918.

My Dear Wife and Babies:

    ​After two and one-half months of hard fighting at the front, we have at last been moved back for a few weeks rest. We have been on the front continually since June 1st with an occasional rest of only a day or two, but always in range of the German guns. It is impossible to tell you what we passed through during the last big drive in which the Americans played such an important part, especially our regiment. On July 16th the Germans sent over the greatest barrage of artillery fire in the history of the war, followed by an attack on our lines and succeeded in breaking through the lines held by the French. They crossed the [Marne] river, gaining a foot hold on our side. It was our regiment which checked this — the greatest drive of the war. We pushed them back across the river and drove them for about 25 miles. For this work our regimental flag is to be decorated with the Croix de Guerre, being the first American regiment in France to receive this honor. Of course we suffered many casualties. I am the only officer left in our company, all others either killed or wounded. I have been in command of the company since July 22nd, when our captain was killed and have been recommended for a captaincy by our battalion commander. I am enclosing copies of special orders from our commanding general complimenting our regiment for its work. Each officer in the regiment received a copy. While our losses were heavy, the enemy losses were much heavier. On either side of the river their dead were piled in heaps, while the river was full of floating bodies and ran red with their life blood. Its useless to say we suffered many hardships and had many tough experiences on this drive. I lost all my equipment, in fact everything I had. My only earthly possessions now are the clothes I have on. Guess you’ll think I have no chance of losing them when I tell you that I haven’t had them off in three weeks. I’m sure the kiddies will think “Daddy” is disgraced when they hear that I haven’t had a bath in so long. I slept with my shoes off last night for the first time in 16 nights. We don’t mind small matters like this so long as the Huns are on the run — and we’ve certainly got ‘em going. I was in the drive from start to finish and came through without a scratch. I can never explain how I got through, unless it was by the prayers of you people back home. Its fierce to face German artillery, machine gun fire and gas, all of which we get in abundance, but rest assured the Americans have got the grit to stand it. I’ll never forget how our men went into this drive. Few if any of them had ever faced a gun, yet they went up like veterans and those who live to get back hom[e] deserve the best there is in the United States and I’m sure will get it.

    We are now 30 miles behind the lines, yet on July 22nd, the Germans were within 200 yards of where I am now writing. Although we were sent back here for a much needed rest. I have days of work ahead in straightening out company records as to killed, gassed, wounded, missing, etc., besides much other work I can’t explain. In my exhausted condition, I am in bad shape to take up the task of mental work which awaits me. 

    In addition to my other work, I have to censor all letters. Some nights when I am so dead tired and have to read hundreds of letters, I come to the conclusion that every man in my company must have two or three wives and two or three sweethearts. Its a great pleasure — no matter how tired– to read the beautiful letters the boys write to their mothers, which shows the kind of stuff a fellow is made of I also very often run across very nice things indeed they say about me whether or not they say these things just because they know I’ll read the letters, I can’t say, any way it looks good. 

    How I wish you people at home could see some of the battlefields of France. The desolation and destruction are awful. Also wish you could see some of the wonderful battles in the air. I have witnessed many. Sometimes as many as ten and twelve machines are engaged in a battle and its a most thrilling and awe-inspiring sight to see the daring aviators make their dives and dips after one anothe[r] — their machine guns firing hundreds of shots a minute and each trying to get advantage of the other. You often see them shot to pieces and come crashing to earth. 

    The sector where we have been fighting has been one of open warfare altogether. Our front lines were only fifty to 100 yards from the enemy. We couldn’t show our selves at all in the daytime as a rifle would pick us off, consequently our moving was all done at night. During the day we would crawl on our stomachs or stay in our little dugouts. During a battle the big guns boom so loud it makes the little infantry rifles sound like popguns. They get to firing so fast its just one continual roar. Men can shout right in your ears, but you can’t hear a sound. It makes your head feel like you had taken about a peck of quinine. To sleep we would just lay down on the ground and roll up in our blankets. When the big shells would explode near us it would turn us completely over. 

Patrick Military Institute Commencement 1888    It is a most beautiful sight to be back among the big guns and see them open up on the Germans. You can see them fire, then see them hit on German soil and as they explode acres and acres of ground are literally torn up, to say nothing of the Huns.

    This war is a great game and all the more fascinating because of the great danger. You soon become accustomed to the din and roar — and danger too. With shells falling all around me the other day, I actually caught myself singing that old son[g]; “I Love to Tell The Story.”

    I met a French sergeant the other day who told me many of his experiences. He said on one occasion in Belgium, when they pushed the Germans back, he found a little girl about six years old nailed to a door, and just a few yard[s] further on they came to a young girl with ten bayonet wounds in her body. This fellow’s wife and little girl were captured in this German drive. He got letters from his wife up to 1916, but has heard nothing from her since. Although only 31 years old, his hair is white:

    One of the most inspiring sights to the American boys is to see these brave French women patiently toiling from day to day – doing their bit to help win the war. Many of them have lost their fathers, husbands, brothers and sons — still they don’t give up. They are not only working in the shops, cafes, offices, etc., but you see women of refinement and culture working in the fields. Well the “half has not yet been told” but I must stop. Please say to the many friends who have written me such nice letters, that I have appreciated and enjoyed them more than I can say, but it’s impossible for me to answer all of them now. Nothing helps us so much as cheerful letters from home, unless its the Red Cross and Y. M. C. A. They are doing a grand work — follow us right up and do everything in their power for our comfort. Many a Red Cross nurse and Y. M. C. A worker will have stars in their crowns for the wonderful things they are doing for us. 

    Much love to you and all the babies. 

                                                                Ernest.

First Lieut. Co. D, 38th Inft. 3rd Div.

–Blog post contributed by Herb Hartsook

Posted in collections | Comments Off

Summering In Connecticut

Editor’s note: At SCPC, we’re proud to see our student assistants complete internships (read about the experiences of Caitlin, Katharine and Chris) and take part in enriching activities (like this and this).  Of course, we then ask them to “blog about it!”  Here, Clara Bertagnolli (a second-year grad student) tells us about her summer in Connecticut.

—————————————————————————————
From Colt revolvers to Katherine Hepburn, from the Charter Oak to the dramatic story of the discovery of gas as an anesthetic, Connecticut has a much richer history than I expected when I began my internship there at the Connecticut Historical Society this summer. I didn’t know what to expect, but what I got was a small taste of what Connecticut has to offer and what many facets of museum work are like.

At the Connecticut Historical Society, I split my time between four different departments, one for each day of the week I worked there. On Mondays, I spent time in Exhibitions, where I developed an exhibit for a small alcove on the brief and tragic family life of the gun entrepreneur Samuel Colt, married five years before his death. I also worked on content for a panel-based exhibit on Horace Wells that is currently being displayed in the lobby of Hartford Stage during their production of Ether Dome. Tuesdays were my Collections days, where I worked on everything from constituent records in the database to cataloging new objects to editing digital photographs of objects taken for our records. I also spent a few hours some Tuesdays as a gallery attendant at the popular Katherine Hepburn fashion exhibit. I worked for Development on Wednesday, drafting business and dining partnership proposal letters and designing an outreach program on Summertime Memories centering around images found in the collections. Thursdays, I worked with the Education department, which mostly consisted of preparing materials for education programs and taking field trips to museums throughout Connecticut.

This was an incredibly busy but rewarding experience. While at first I found myself rather lost and confused in trying to differentiate between the departments and the tasks assigned to me, I was ultimately glad to have an opportunity to explore so many facets of museum work. I feel that this has made a neat [capstone] to my graduate experience and has allowed me to affirm my goal of ultimately working as a collections manager or registrar.

–Contributed by Clara Bertagnolli

Posted in Student Assistants | Comments Off

One Last Reflection on the Goldwater 1964 Campaign

This entry is the third and final entry celebrating the 50th anniversary of Barry Goldwater’s 1964 Presidential campaign. See the first and second.

An exhibit in the Hollings Library’s Brittain Gallery, October 21 through November, titled, In Your Heart, You Know He’s Right: 50th anniversary of Barry Goldwater’s 1964 Presidential Campaign celebrates the anniversary and features campaign ephemera.

bumper sticker liberty bellThe campaign caught the hearts of many South Carolinians and helped create an environment in which a nascent Republican Party began its rise to parity and eventual domination of South Carolina.

Greg Shorey was a leader in the development of South Carolina’s Republican Party in the late 1950s and very early 1960s, during which time he helped transform the Party into an effective and viable entity.  He remains active in Republican affairs and began placing his papers with SCPC in 1995.  Since that time, he has been of immense help in developing our Republican holdings.  Below are his reflections.

brochure opportunity to win50th ANNIVERSARY REFLECTIONS
ON
BARRY GOLDWATER’S
1964 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDACY

There are many authentic sources with diverse views on ‘the Goldwater movement.’  My direct involvement focused less on his election, but more on building a viable second Party in S.C. and converting a one Party South.  Such accomplishments would change the balance of political power in our Country forever.  Goldwater was the vehicle and the means.

The 1964 Goldwater presidential candidacy has many misconceptions, as to when and how it really began, it’s underlying mission and real meaning… considering his election was not truly envisioned or even anticipated by Barry himself.  Southern political trends since the Eisenhower campaigns, returning vets with Yankee wives, N.E. Textile and other businesses moving to the Southland and changing post WW II attitudes, were clear indicators that a Democrat dominated South was susceptible. Our Southern States GOP State Chairmen’s Association, under the direction of I. Lee Potter, Virginia State Party Chairman, gave us access to Republican National Chairman Mead Alcorn, adding creditability as we began building a unified block of Southern State’s National Convention delegate votes (often referred to as “young Turks”) uniquely able to affect outcomes and overcome Party dominance by the North East ‘moderates.’

Goldwater panorama1The “Draft Goldwater Committee,” credits my 1959 Goldwater endorsement at a State-wide broadcasted $100./plate fund raising dinner at the old Greenville Hotel as the movement’s, ‘lynch-pin.’  Goldwater was our guest speaker that evening. This event also secured Roger Milliken’s key involvement as our State Party’s Finance Chairman.  Many of my former College Young Republican friends, in positions of Party leadership around the Country, became actively involved with this Committee.  Cliff White’s book, “Suite 3505,” details what ultimately led to Goldwater’s 1964 Candidacy.  The 1960 RNC [Republican National Committee] was the “kick-off” and the role the S.C. delegation played, pledged to Goldwater, to be released only by him, has not been fully credited.  With pressure on his own Arizona delegates, we forced his 1960 Convention nomination, seconded by me as Chairman of the S.C. delegation & the Goldwater for President Committee. {This a story by itself}. Reluctantly agreeing to Barry’s withdrawal, in support of Nixon’s 1960 nomination, we had Goldwater’s 1964 RNC nomination in view.  Our objective of demonstrating the power of a two party South was now evident.

Goldwater panorama2While the election of Jim Edwards (first Republican governor since ‘Reconstruction’), endorsements of Nixon & Goldwater by Jimmy Byrnes, the election of Carroll Campbell as Governor (preceded by his upset victory over 4th Dist. Congressman Democrat Bob Ashmore) and Strom Thurmond’s 1964 Party switch, after Goldwater’s nomination,  were all significant confirmations that S.C. now had a viable second Party.  But the real seminal event had to be South Carolina’s role initiating the “Goldwater movement” preceding the 1960  RNC — that led to his securing his 1964 nomination, thus changing the Nation’s political power base forever!  Contrary to some assertions, that our’s was a”lily-white” movement, the fact is that this effort provided ALL voters with a true competitive choice, that is — Conservatism Vs.  Liberalism (as is still the case) giving our State and the South new leadership and influence.  Proof— Consider where much of today’s Republican Party leadership emulates, plus Governorships and legislative majorities.

Our 1958 South Carolina Republican Party handbook stated our objective: “Better government at all levels, more responsive & responsible to the public.”  Goldwater’s candidacy 8 years later made this objective a reality in a very important and different way. All our communities have benefited.

-Greg Shorey – Feb. 4, 2014

Posted in guest blog post | Comments Off

Flynn T. Harrell: Friend of the Archives

Flynn Award Speaking

Flynn Harrell offers brief remarks to South Carolina archivists.

On October 10, 2014, the South Carolina Archival Association bestowed on Flynn T. Harrell its Friend of the Archives Award.  He earned this recognition through his long dedication to the South Caroliniana Library and his work in arranging his own papers, first for the Caroliniana, and now for South Carolina Political Collections.

Harrell is a native of Columbia and a member of the University of South Carolina Class of 1956.  His career was spent in finance and government as the business/financial officer of the South Carolina Baptist Convention and as executive assistant to South Carolina Attorney General Travis Medlock.  Harrell chaired Gov. Richard W. Riley’s Task Force on Critical Human Needs, and since his retirement, served on the State Ethics Commission.

Harrell served as president of the University South Caroliniana Society from 1987 to 1990. As a member of its Council and later president, Harrell provided able stewardship and helped guide the Caroliniana in its collecting and outreach efforts.  In 2008 Harrell created a collection with South Carolina Political Collections which formed the culmination of Flynn’s lifetime interest in the separation of church and state.  The Flynn T. Harrell Collection on the Separation of Church and State has become a leading collection documenting this key tenet of American government and society.  Some nine feet of personal papers document his professional career while over seventeen feet of material document the separation of church and state.

Flynn Award2

Flynn Harrell receives the award from SCAA Vice-President Steve Smith.

In an article written for a USC publication, Harrell reflected on his life as follows:

Early on I became enamored with the historic South Caroliniana Library and worked there as a student assistant during three summers and part-time during my junior and senior years.  I was an accounting major, but my love for South Carolina and its history made this a growing and cherished experience.  I boasted to a few friends that not every college student could say that he or she had worked in the oldest separate college library building in America.

The books, manuscripts and other holdings, all pertaining to our state, were informative and impressionable.  I have admired the leadership and staff of the library, having worked under the legendary Dr. Robert L. Meriwether and observed his successor directors, Les Inabinet, Allen Stokes and Herbert Hartsook.  I am a long-time member of the University South Caroliniana Society, having served as president following the term of my friend and noted historian Walter Edgar.  I knew this would be a humbling experience.

I have recognized the importance of special collections of the papers of numerous state leaders and citizens, from the early years forward, not only in politics and government but also in business, education, industry, arts and science.  These readily become repositories to document the history of South Carolina and its people.  An understanding of the past is a prelude to working toward a more enlightened and just future for all.

Having grown up as a Baptist, I was exposed to the historic belief of that denomination as to religious liberty and its corollary the separation of church and state.  I found the subject fascinating and concluded that separation was in the best interest of both government and religion.  I have read rather extensively in this field, including two journals throughout my entire adult life, Church & State, published by Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and Report from the Capital, published by the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty.

Over the ensuing years I have authored several church/state articles and have spoken on the subject on more than one hundred occasions to churches, schools, civic clubs and other groups.  In recent years I have served as treasurer on the Board of Trustees of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

For three decades now, in my opinion, the Southern Baptist Convention has compromised its historic commitment to religious liberty by becoming even more conservative and more a part of the Religious Right.  (Almost twelve years ago my wife and I joined a congregation of the Presbyterian Church/USA where I serve now as an elder and moderator-elect of the presbytery.)

I believe many Americans do not understand Thomas Jefferson’s reference to a “wall of separation” between church and state.  They have not reflected upon how well our constitutionally-guaranteed religious liberty has served both religion and government.  And they have not comprehended the weakness of religion in those nations which do not mandate such separation.  This freedom is far more inclusive than where there is an officially-established state church.  It did not work in the early days of the colonies, and it would work even less today in our vastly increased pluralistic society.

It is important that Americans remain free to worship or not to worship according to the dictates of their individual consciences.  State-coerced religion would result in an America that few of us would recognize or desire.  True and vibrant religious faith must remain voluntary.

The culmination of a lifetime of involvement in the cause of religious liberty has resulted in our gift to South Carolina Political Collections in the University Libraries of books, journals, an extensive clipping collection and correspondence of forty-five years.  Our family also made a financial gift to endow this collection so that these resources can expand and remain available for present and future generations of students, faculty and researchers from far and near.  These gifts have been given to help insure continued religious liberty for all Americans through the separation of church and state.

–Contributed by Herb Hartsook

Posted in collections | Comments Off

Former South Carolina Governor James B. Edwards on the 1964 Presidential Campaign Waged by Barry Goldwater

This entry is the second in a short series of posts celebrating the 50th anniversary of Barry Goldwater’s 1964 Presidential campaign. See the first and third.

An exhibit in the Hollings Library’s Brittain Gallery, October 16 through November, “In Your Heart, You Know He’s Right: The 50th Anniversary of Barry Goldwater’s 1964 Presidential Campaign,” will celebrate the anniversary and feature campaign ephemera.

brochure gold backgroundThe campaign caught the hearts of many South Carolinians and helped create an environment in which a nascent Republican Party began its rise to parity and eventual domination of South Carolina.

In 1964, oral surgeon Jim Edwards was becoming politically active and was drawn to the conservative message put forth by the iconic conservative candidate, Barry Goldwater.  When I first sat down with Dr. Edwards to discuss his donation of papers to SCPC, he spoke at length on why he was a conservative.  I have never heard a more moving and convincing argument for the conservative cause.  Dr. Edwards provided the following for this blog series:

During this time I was trying to read all I could about Communism and how it had spread around the world and had even invaded our own government.  The more I learned and studied about it, the more concerned I became.  About this time Roger Milliken funded a television program on all three of the TV stations simultaneously about how the Communists had invaded our own government and how many known Communists were serving in important positions in our government.  The program showed how they disrupted the hearings of the House Un-American Activities committee.

This further disturbed me, and I began more and more wondering what I could and/or should be doing to fight against what was going on in my country.  What was I going to leave my children and grandchildren?

bumper sticker small orangeAbout the same time the national Republican Party had nominated a man named Barry Goldwater for president.  I was passively interested in him. I had read the books Profiles in Courage by Jack Kennedy and The Conscience of a Conservative by Barry Goldwater.  Goldwater appealed to me and one night a good friend of mine was at my house visiting.  Goldwater was on the television and I said I would like to help that man Goldwater.  Arnie Mahoney said, “Jim, why don’t you go to the precinct meeting with me next week?”  I responded by saying, “What is a precinct?”  He explained it to me and I said I would go.

Well, the meeting went smoothly and they explained that each precinct needed to raise a certain quota for Goldwater’s campaign and that our precinct needed to give $1,500.  The precinct president asked if anyone had any suggestions about how to do it.  How to raise the $1500?  No one responded….  I finally said, “Why we don’t have a BBQ dinner at Alhambra Hall.  I believe we could get a crowd out for that.”  Everyone seemed to agree.  As usual the one making the suggestion wound up as chairman.  Ann and I arranged for the hall and asked the town if they would mow and clean up the grounds.  They said sorry, so Ann mowed the grounds with our little riding mower.

We set the date and, in the meantime, Bryan Rowell of Sullivan’s Island Precinct and big Clay Cable of the Isle of Palms Precinct asked if their precinct could join us and make it an East Cooper BBQ.  We all agreed and we all worked together.  We invited Paul Belknap, our County Chairman, to speak and we really had a great success.

sticker AUH2OWe sold all we had and sent for more barbecue, baked beans, and coleslaw.  We were selling AuH2O ["Goldwater"] for a dollar a can and as we began to sell out, we started auctioning it all for $10 a can.  The crowd swelled as the night went on, and when it was over, Arnie, Clay Cable, Bryan Rowell, Ann and I were up until after midnight counting the money.  We wound up not with $1,500 but over $15,000.

The next day the fight began over who was going to get the money.  The Republicans said it was theirs.  No, said Democrats for Goldwater, it was theirs.  The argument was getting hotter and hotter.  I had the cash, so I deposited it in the bank under “East Cooper Conservatives” and told both sides they were going to lower their voices or they would get none.  I then got together Clay Cable and Bryan Rowell and we quietly divided the money, making sure that it all got properly dispensed for use by Goldwater.  Paul Belknap, County Chairman, was most appreciative of the financial help that we had given him and the Republican Party, and wrote me a very nice note after the election.

We were all really brokenhearted [by Goldwater’s defeat] and Paul Belknap resigned as County Chairman to get back to the business he was running, which was Charleston Rubber Company.  They manufactured a variety of rubber gloves used in industry.  He was a wonderful patriotic person who did his part and my life has been enriched by knowing him and his wife.

Not long after the Goldwater defeat, I got a call from Arthur Ravenel and Richard Coen.  They asked if they could come by and visit after I completed my schedule for the day.  Arthur and I had been friends in St. Andrews Parish Grammar School during the fourth and fifth grade.  I told them that I would look forward to seeing them.  When they arrived, I was surprised at the number.  There were six or seven as I remember.  Among the group was Julia Dougherty, Tom Alexander, Arthur Ravenel, [Richardson M.] Sunny Hanckel, Micah Jenkins, John Harlbeck and Richard Coen.  I welcomed them to the office, and gave them a short tour and offered them each a Coke.   I could tell they were on a mission, but they were slow to come to the point.

After a few minutes, one of them explained to me that Paul Belknap was resigning as Chairman and they were looking for someone to be Chairman of Charleston County Republican Party.  I was truly shocked.  I thought they should recruit an attorney.  They said an attorney in his right mind would not want the job.  I wondered why they would expect me to want it.  I told them that I would have to think about it.

A button that made a statement--actual size 7 inches.

A button that made a statement–actual size 7 inches.

I went home that evening wondering why I should even consider such a thing.  I had a very good practice that I enjoyed – I had, for the first time in my life, a comfortable income stream.  I even had some time to hunt, fish and spend time with my family.  I also wondered how the political life would affect my practice.  Would the referral doctors not send me patients?  Would patients refuse my service because of politics?

I waited nearly a week asking the questions.  I really didn’t know what the pressure would be, but I was unhappy with the way things were going in my country.  I was also aware that the only way to change anything in the U.S. was through political action.  I sincerely wanted to preserve our system and to leave a free country with the same opportunities that I have had.  There were none seeking the job and I wondered why?  After a few days of prayerful consideration, I decided I would try it, even though I had only attended one precinct meeting in my life.  Once I agreed to accept the job, I asked if there would be a campaign for the position.  I was told that there would be an election, but no one was wanting the job, and after being nominated, I was elected by acclamation.

SCPC holds a number of collections (and oral history interviews) documenting the rise of the Republican Party in South Carolina.  The Goldwater campaign was a landmark event in that rise and Dr. Edwards a central figure in the spread of the Republican ideal throughout South Carolina.  Please plan to visit the Hollings Library’s Brittain Gallery and see a little of what captivated South Carolinians just fifty years ago, and marvel at the changes in our political landscape.

Contributed by Herb Hartsook

Posted in exhibits, guest blog post | Comments Off

SCPC Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Goldwater 1964 Presidential Campaign

This blog kicks off a short series of biweekly posts celebrating the 50th anniversary of Barry Goldwater’s 1964 Presidential campaign.  That campaign caught the hearts of many South Carolinians and helped create an environment in which a nascent Republican Party began its rise to parity and eventual domination of South Carolina.

brochure coverAn exhibit in the Hollings Library’s Brittain Gallery, October 16 through November, In Your Heart, You Know He’s Right: 50th anniversary of Barry Goldwater’s 1964 Presidential Campaign, will celebrate the anniversary and feature campaign ephemera.

Neal Thigpen, a historian of the Party, wrote a guest column for the Florence Morning News, Dec. 5 1977, titled “South Carolina Was Key to Goldwater Candidacy.”  In that column, he traced the origins of the Goldwater boom of 1964 to events in South Carolina in 1959 and 1960.  The following is an extensive quote from that article:

It all began in the fall of 1959 when South Carolina Republican chairman Gregory D. Shorey Jr. brought Goldwater to Greenville to speak at a party banquet.  There and over statewide television he introduced the senator as his choice for the 1960 Republican nomination.  Goldwater evidently didn’t take Shorey very seriously at the time.  But many people who attended the banquet that evening and thousands more who saw the television program, took Shorey’s endorsement to heart.

button collage 3In fact, the response to his announcement was so encouraging that Shorey and Roger Milliken, the state party’s finance chairman, invited Goldwater to come to Columbia to deliver the keynote address at the 1960 state convention.  The speech the Senator gave that day unwittingly won him the unanimous support of the more than 500 Republicans at the gathering.  Before they adjourned, South Carolina’s 13 national convention votes were officially pledged to Goldwater for president.  Not wishing to appear a political orphan in his own home state, the senator got Arizona Republicans to back him as a favorite-son, intending all the while to throw his support to Richard Nixon.
 
But by July, when the Republican national convention opened in Chicago, pressure on Goldwater to become a bona fide candidate and to seriously oppose the vice president for the nomination had begun to build.  Volunteers from the Goldwater-for-President Committee, which Greg Shorey headed, scurried about the convention hotels attempting to line up delegate support.  Goldwater realized, however, that Nixon had the nomination sewed up, and he decided t discourage those working on his behalf by releasing the delegates formally pledged to him so they could cast their ballots for the winner.

Members of the South Carolina delegation, from its leaders, Greg Shorey, Roger Milliken and Robert F. Chapman, who later succeeded Shorey as state chairman, down to the last alternate, urged Goldwater to remain in the contest.  Many argued that he should at least allow his name to be placed in nomination.  By so doing, he could then make a withdrawal speech to the convention that would give him and the conservative cause he represented invaluable nationwide both buttonstelevision exposure.  Reluctantly, Goldwater went along with the South Carolinians.
 
That night, to the thunderous applause of the delegates, the senator mounted the convention rostrum and asked that his name be withdrawn from nomination.  In his now famous address, he expounded his conservative political philosophy and urged his followers to stay within the party: Let’s grow up, conservatives!  If we want to take this party back, and I think we can someday, let’s go to work!  Goldwater did work loyally for the Nixon-Lodge ticket and the South Carolinian Republican returned home more determined than ever to make him the party’s presidential nominee four years hence. . . .

SCPC holds a number of collections (and oral history interviews) documenting the rise of the Republican Party in South Carolina.  A number of our collections include wonderful ephemera documenting the Goldwater campaign.  The collections of Greg Shorey, Charles Boineau, and, surprisingly, Democrat Bryan Dorn, are particularly rich in Goldwater material.  Please plan to visit starting Oct. 16th and see a little of what captivated South Carolinians just fifty years ago, and marvel at the changes in our political landscape.

bumper sticker–Contributed by Herb Hartsook

See the second and third posts in this series.

Posted in exhibits | Comments Off

“A Great American,” Congressman Joseph R. Bryson

BrysonCongressman Joseph R. Bryson served South Carolina’s 4th District in the United States House of Representatives from 1939-1953.  A conservative Democrat, one issue of great importance to him both personally and professionally was government regulation of alcohol.  He was ardently opposed to any alcohol consumption whatsoever, and many citizens at the time shared his view on this issue.  When Bryson took office, Prohibition was still fresh in the minds of Americans, having ended only six years prior.  Included in his collection are materials evidencing his and society’s feelings on alcohol and Prohibition at that time; a one-case exhibit showcasing some of these items is on display until October 15 in the Brittain Gallery at Hollings Library.

5_Prohibition_Disposal(9)

Disposal of liquor during Prohibition

Prohibition in the United States (1920-1933) had turned out to be to a large degree ineffectual, as widespread drinking continued throughout those years.  It also brought many problems along with it, including bootlegging, increased organized crime, political corruption, and the fact that the illegally manufactured alcohol was sometimes dangerous or even fatal when consumed.  However, supporters of reinstating Prohibition believed that the problems associated with legal access to alcohol were more devastating to society than those brought by restricting access.

It is easy for us to forget today just how much support there was for Prohibition, both public and political, at the time it took effect in 1920, and the items on display serve as an interesting reminder of how societal attitudes have changed over the years.  There were multiple organizations solely devoted to the outlaw of alcohol and an end to any and all drinking, and these organizations enjoyed solid membership and a degree of political influence.  The 18th Amendment was ratified by 46 of the 48 states; Connecticut and Rhode Island being the only states to reject it.  In contrast, the 21st Amendment which repealed Prohibition was ratified by 38 states, which was only 2 more than the minimum three-fourths required for passage; was rejected by South Carolina; and was not considered by nine states.

prohibitionists to carry countyThe Prohibition Party, founded in 1869, is the oldest existing third party in the United States.  It has nominated a presidential candidate in every election since 1872, and although never a leading contender, these presidential candidates enjoyed considerable support between 1884 and 1920, earning anywhere from 145,000 to 270,000 votes in each election during those years, and over 100,000 votes even as late as 1948.  Bob Shuler, a Prohibition senate candidate in 1932, attracted over 500,000 votes.  In comparison, the Prohibition presidential candidate in 2012 earned 519 votes.

joint resolution

Proposed constitutional amendment to reinstate Prohibition

Congressman Bryson introduced, at different times, both a bill and a constitutional amendment to bring back national Prohibition of alcohol, both of which were met with some degree of public support.  However, while strongly in favor of complete Prohibition, Congressman Bryson recognized that some progress could be made through compromise.  Bryson thus pursued laws that would impose regulations short of complete Prohibition; for example, prohibiting soldiers from consuming alcohol during times of war; and measures to prohibit beer and liquor companies from advertising their products.  In remarks to the House Speaker at a vote on a bill that would allow the President to limit the amount of wheat allocated for the production of alcoholic beverages he said, as he cast his vote in favor of the bill,  “I fully realize that the measure does not meet the needs…since the Majority party has indicated…that the pending measure was all that we could expect to get during this session, it is better to take a portion of a loaf than no loaf at all.”

Bryson and womanThe Prohibition folders in Congressman Bryson’s collection contain numerous letters from constituents expressing their opinions on the subject, and they are overwhelmingly supportive of his efforts.  One example from such a letter reads, “I hope your name will go down in history as a GREAT LEADER of the fight against this mighty enemy of the whole race.”  During World War II, some soldiers and civilians felt strongly that the war effort and national security would be best served by prohibiting soldiers from drinking.  One soldier wrote, “Here is one serviceman, and I know that there are millions more, who heartily approves of your efforts to curtail the consumption of the poison that people call liquor.  Servicemen have plenty of opportunity to see the effects of alcohol upon the nation, and especially upon its youth.  Needless to say, it is too awful for description.”  Congressman Bryson sent responses to some of these constituent letters.  In addition to correspondence, the items on display include speeches Bryson made to Congress, brochures and pamphlets about prohibition, poems, newspaper clippings, copies of bills introduced by Bryson, and literature from churches and temperance societies.

Bryson and son

Congressman Bryson and his son, Franklin David c. 1938

While the sincerity and motivations of some politicians claiming to support Prohibition may have been questionable, there is no doubt in Congressman Bryson’s sincerity.  He never wavered in his adamant opposition to and disapproval of all forms of alcohol consumption, nor in his fight to outlaw it again, and he truly believed society would be best served through Prohibition.  He claimed to have “always been sober and never [to] have taken a drop of intoxicating beverages.”  Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn said of Bryson that he “typified morals.  He practiced what he preached.  He was a good Christian and a great American.”  Come by the Brittain Gallery through October 15 to check out this exhibit, and read more about Congressman Bryson and his collection in the finding aid, found here.

Contributed by Mary Kennington Steele

Posted in ., collections, exhibits | Comments Off