In Honor of Veterans’ Day: The Military Career of William D. Workman Jr.

William D. Workman, Jr. wearing a World War II-era U.S. Army uniform.

William D. Workman, Jr.

Although we are grateful for our veterans every day of the year, Veterans’ Day provides an excellent opportunity to give special recognition to all who have served in the United States Armed Forces.

In celebration of Veterans’ Day, I’d like to draw attention to the unique contributions that William D. Workman’s collection offers to the canon of military history from his thirty years of military service, first as an intelligence officer during World War II, then as a Reservist.

Called to active duty by the U.S. Army in 1940, Workman’s wartime service as an intelligence officer included tours in the United States, England, North Africa and the Pacific. This chapter of Workman’s life is visually documented by hundreds of prints, slides, and negatives from places such as Hawaii, Aircraft Recognition School in the United Kingdom, Camp Davis Army Air Field in North Carolina, Fort Barrancas in Florida, and Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.

About 36 people, mostly men, in four rows. People pictured are wearing a variety of different military uniforms.

“37th Class—Aircraft Recognition School, 10th Light AA Training Reg’t; RA. North Barracks; Deepcut, Hampshire. Aug. 26—Sept. 8, 1942.” [Workman is fourth from the right on first row]

Three men in World War II-era military uniforms, standing in front of a wall, underneath a sign identifying their location as Atar, Mauritania.

William D. Workman, Jr. and two fellow soldiers stationed in North Africa during World War II.

Photograph of a World War II-era German military airplane in flight.

World War II aircraft recognition card from London’s Valentine & Sons’ “Proficiency Test” Series (front)

In addition to photographs, Workman preserved pamphlets from his time abroad, a series of sixty-three World War II aircraft recognition cards from London’s Valentine & Sons, and a 1942 bound volume of America’s Alertmen, a weekly newspaper for the Anti-Aircraft Artillery Command, Eastern Theater of Operations. Workman’s collection also contains bound publications from both the 71st Coast Anti-Aircraft Artillery of Fort Story, Virginia and the 76th Coast Anti-Aircraft Artillery of Fort Bragg, North Carolina.


Three men in World War I-era U.S. military uniforms pose on a motorcycle in front of a row of military tents.

Sam Willis, Frank Cureton, and William D. Workman. Members of The Butler Guard from Greenville, SC in the Spring of 1917 at Camp Styx—Columbia, South Carolina.

While the existing finding aid highlights some of these materials, one of the hidden gems uncovered in our reprocessing project is a collection of twenty-two World War I photographs of The Butler Guard from Greenville, South Carolina. According to an article published in the Greenville News on November 27, 1917, Workman’s father, William D. Workman, Sr. (1889-1957), served as captain of this company. The Greenville News also adds that the Butler Guard was mobilized in April of 1917 and “helped break the ‘impregnable’ Hindenburg Line” as Company A of the 118th Infantry Regiment.”

The Butler Guard from Greenville, SC, c. 1917

Although we are not digitizing manuscripts for this particular project, it is worth noting that Workman’s collection also contains an extensive series of wartime letters from his father-in-law, Heber Thomas (1889-1959), to Thomas’ fiancée and later wife, Ruth (Dorrill) Thomas. For more information on this selection, please see the finding aid. If you’d like to view these materials, please review the Researcher Information available on SCPC’s website and contact us to schedule a visit.

A young white man in a World War I-era U.S. military uniform stands with one foot slightly forward.

Portrait of Heber E. Thomas in France during World War I, c. 1918-1919


By Mae Howe

Reprocessing and digitization of the William D. Workman, Jr. Papers photographs has been made possible by a grant from the National Historic Publications & Records Commission.

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The Senate Campaign of William D. Workman, Jr.

A white man with dark hair, wearing eyeglasses and dark suit, stands behind a podium equipped with microphones. A painting of an elephant with a G.O.P. banner on its back is partially visible in the background.

William D. Workman standing at a podium at the Republican State Convention. Columbia, SC. March 17, 1962. “Dick” Beebout/The State & The Columbia Record

This past Monday marked the 55th anniversary of South Carolina’s 1962 US Senate election, in which Democratic incumbent Olin D. Johnston defeated Republican contender William D. Workman, Jr. Although unsuccessful, Workman’s “campaign was the first significant Republican challenge [to Democratic dominance] in an important statewide race since Reconstruction” and “is credited with establishing the structure for a viable Republican Party in South Carolina.”[1] Having secured 43% of the vote, Workman’s campaign also served as a harbinger of Republican ascendancy in a South Carolina that was then still part of the “Solid South.”

Workman was nominated at the Republican State Convention in Columbia on March 17, 1962. He was already relatively well-known in the state as a journalist and the author of the book The Case for the South, although he had resigned from his positions with the (Charleston) News and Courier and The Greenville News in December 1961 in order to actively pursue the Republican nomination. He further increased his name recognition by speaking to voters around the state and through the campaign’s press activities, which included television broadcasts, press releases, and campaign ads. He was aided by substantial support from the state party and by former President Eisenhower’s visit to South Carolina to endorse his candidacy.

Workman campaigned on a platform of individual liberty, limited government, fiscal conservatism, military strength, free trade, limited involvement in international affairs, and the maintenance of segregated schools. He cast himself in opposition to a Democratic administration whose liberal policies, he felt, threatened the country:


What we do here today binds all of us together in a great cause—a cause which is far greater than the sum of its parts. This cause is the preservation—indeed, the restoration—of the American form of government as we have come to cherish it.

For today—make no mistake about this—this form of government is on trial for its life. I confess that I read a sinister meaning into Pres. Kennedy’s inaugural words that ‘we shall have to test anew whether a nation organized and governed such as ours can endure.’

Our endurance is indeed being tested—day by day, week by week, month by month—as a Democratic administration seeks to undermine the political institutions which made this country great.

The concepts of states’ rights and of local self-government are being swallowed up in a determined drive to concentrate all power in Washington.

The principles of free enterprise, individual initiative, and personal thrift are being smothered by confiscatory taxation and governmental regulation.

The goal of ‘a wise and frugal’ government is lost amidst spending policies which look upon money as the universal solvent.

The liberty of the individual is being sacrificed on the altar of governmental control. [emphases original][2]


Workman’s message resonated with a lot of voters, as evidenced by his capturing more than 40% of the vote. His campaign spurred the growth of the Republican Party at the local level, providing the state party with a framework on which to expand its activities.

After the election, Workman returned to his journalism career. He became an assistant editor, and later the editor, of The State newspaper. He only sought public office once more, in an unsuccessful run for governor against incumbent Richard W. Riley in 1982.

Five men with elephant-shaped name tags on their suits.

William D. Workman and four unidentified men at a Republican rally. Lexington, SC. December 9, 1961. “Dick” Beebout/The State & The Columbia Record

[1] William D. Workman, Jr., “Acceptance Speech of William D. Workman, Jr. on Being Nominated as the Republican Candidate for the U. S. Senate,” in For U. S. Senate:  South Carolina’s Bill Workman, and the 1962 Platform of the South Carolina Republican Party, (n.p. : n.p., 1962).

[2] Colleen Bradley and Kelly Gilbert, “Biographical Note,” William D. Workman, Jr. Papers (PDF finding aid), (2002) : 3,


Photographs documenting William D. Workman’s Senate campaign are among those that will be made more available through the project Reprocessing and Digitizing the William D. Workman, Jr. Papers Photographs. This project has been made possible by a grant from the National Historic Publications & Records Commission.

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Reprocessing the William D. Workman Jr. Papers Photographs: Rehousing

When I last posted, the processing plan for the William D. Workman Papers’ photographic materials had just been approved. This document outlined a plan for improving access to the materials by altering the existing finding aid’s organization and further developing its level of detail.

Since then, I have begun physically rearranging the images in accordance with the processing plan and transferring them to more protective archival enclosures. Before this process, all of the images were grouped together in large folders. As you can see in the photographs provided, each image has been transferred to its own acid-free envelope and placed in a specific box according to size and type.

As expected, the initial plan has needed minor revisions, but overall its description and arrangement have been easy to implement and exceedingly useful. In fact, the finding aid’s improved accessibility has already proven to be helpful in responding to the requests of three South Carolina researchers—a journalist working on an anthology of essays, an historian finishing up a collection of oral histories, and a director in the post-production phase of her documentary.

The rehousing of slides, standard prints, and contact prints is complete and I began working on the negatives on Tuesday. I am happy to report that over 50% of the physical reprocessing is complete and we are currently about a month ahead of schedule.

In the coming month, I hope to finish rehousing at least half of Workman’s negatives—there are about 2,000 total and each must be handled with caution and labeled individually. Also, we plan to share more of our findings through both the blog and our social media outlets—so make sure you’re following the South Carolina Political Collections on Facebook and Twitter!

By Mae Howe

Reprocessing and digitization of the William D. Workman, Jr. Papers photographs has been made possible by a grant from the National Historic Publications & Records Commission.

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Reprocessing and Digitizing the William D. Workman, Jr. Papers Photographs: Beach Music

On October 22, 1960, the Drifters’ beach music classic, “Save the Last Dance For Me,” reached the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100. According to the South Carolina Encyclopedia, “[b]each music, as it is known in the South, originated in the coastal Carolinas in the years following World War II.” The encyclopedia entry goes on to detail the origins and evolution of the genre. Beach music is particularly associated with Myrtle Beach and Ocean Drive, which is now part of North Myrtle Beach.

Below are two of William D. Workman’s images of the area in the 1940s, when beach music was born. Each picture is followed by a Google Maps Street View image of the same location in 2017. Of particular interest is Workman’s photo of the Roberts Pavilion. This was one of the early venues for beach music and shag dancing. A historical marker commemorating the pavilion is visible in the Google Maps image of the area.


Ocean Drive

Photograph showing the dead end of an unpaved road. Ocean is visible in the background. One and two-story wooden buildings are visible on the left side of the road. Roberts Pavilion, a large, white, three-story building, and a small cafe are visible on the right. Multiple cars are parked near the buildings, as is a greyhound bus. Two unidentified men walk across the picture's middleground.

The Roberts Pavilion and other businesses in the Ocean Drive area. May 27, 1946. Photo by William D. Workman, Jr.

Intersection of Ocean Boulevard and Main Street in North Myrtle Beach, looking toward ocean. Both roads are paved. A modern, multi-story hotel is visible on the left. On the right, a historical marker for the Roberts Pavilion is visible on the street corner. Behind it is a parking lot, with a business in the background.

Same section of Ocean Drive as shown above. January 2017. Google Maps Street View image. Click image to open Google Maps.


Myrtle Beach

Photograph of a wide, unpaved road. Road curves to right in background. Businesses visible on the left side of the road include gas stations, a restaurant, and a two-story brick bank. Two gas stations and two restaurants are visible on the right-hand side of the road. Other buildings are visible in the picture's background. 1940s-era cars are traveling down both sides of the road. Cars are also packed in front of the the businesses along the road.

Businesses along SC-17 in Myrtle Beach. August 5, 1947. Photo by William D. Workman, Jr.

View of SC-17 Business and US-501 where they fork. In the background, SC-17 veers to the left, while US-501 veers to the right. No businesses are visible on the left side of the road, only a sidewalk, short grass, and palmetto trees. On the right side of the road there is a sidewalk, beyond which there is a grass lawn and relatively modern-looking one-story businesses. A light-colored, two-story restaurant is visible in the background on the right, where US-501 curves out of sight. This building is also visible in Workman's picture, although in his picture its facade was darker and housed a different restaurant.

Same section of Myrtle Beach as shown above. January 2017. Google Maps Street View image. Click image to open Google Maps.


Reprocessing and digitization of the William D. Workman, Jr. Papers photographs has been made possible by a grant from the National Historic Publications & Records Commission.

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Impeaching the President

Jim Mann

Congressman James R. Mann

Jim Mann, son of former U.S. representative James R. Mann, recently suggested I might enjoy watching a 1983 documentary on the Nixon impeachment hearings. 

Mann (1920-2010), a Democrat, represented South Carolina’s 4th District from 1969 to 1979.  He donated his papers to SCPC in 1997.  Mann was serving on the House Judiciary Committee in 1974, when it held hearings that ultimately led to a Committee recommendation to impeach President Richard M. Nixon.  This all stemmed from the Nixon administration’s efforts to cover up the infamous 1972 Watergate break-in

The multi-part documentary, Summer of Judgement, is available on YouTube and was produced by Washington’s public television station WETA.  Noted journalist Charles McDowell serves as narrator. 

Jim Mann

Mann (center right) fields questions from reporters in a crowded hearing room.

The first episode, The Impeachment Hearings, examines this highly unusual House Judiciary Committee investigation into the president and the Nixon administration.  Mann features prominently in the hour-long program and is described by McDowell as the most conservative Democrat on the Committee. 

Two subsequent episodes examine the Senate Watergate Hearings, broadcast live on television.  These hearings transfixed the nation.  This superb documentary showcases the complexity and difficulties inherent in the impeachment process.  It is both an enormous and an intensely emotional undertaking.

By Herb Hartsook

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Reprocessing the William D. Workman Jr. Papers Photographs: First Steps

Exterior shot of a restaurant that occupied a narrow, three-story, light-colored brick building and an adjacent two-story, dark-colored brick building.

“Henry’s—For years on end one of the best-known (probably the best-known) of Charleston eating places.” (Workman’s caption)
Photo taken c. 1937 or 1938.

Last fall, I gathered information about the photographic materials in William D. Workman Jr.’s Papers for use in SCPC’s NHPRC grant application. Born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina, I felt sure that my grasp on local history was sufficient for the task of identifying photographs from my home state. However, as I began to work with the collection, I was confronted with how little I knew about my own city—much less the entire state. I also encountered how little of our recent past is readily accessible on the open web.

While some aspects of the project could be tedious—like comparing prints, slides, and negatives to identify duplicates—I immediately realized the significance of improving access to these images and preserving the originals. I fell in love with the Workman project then, so when a position opened up this fall to help reprocess and digitize his collection, I applied immediately.

As Laura mentioned in her last post, the first step of this project is to “change the way [the images] are arranged and described in the finding aid. This will help people find relevant images more easily.” Before actually touching anything, I had to create a processing plan to show how I thought the images should be organized—essentially creating a new finding aid for the photographic materials in Workman’s collection. The existing finding aid retains the slides, negatives, and prints in the order in which Workman kept them. He primarily divided the photographic material by location, but overlapping locations and a lack of folder-level description led to confusion. As a result, many significant people, places, and events hide in general files.

Graduate Assistant Mae Howe working with photographic materials.

Mae hard at work reprocessing the Workman photos.

To highlight the wealth of photographic materials represented in Workman’s collection, I tried to identify as many people, places, and events as I possibly could. I spent hours with the images, a magnifying glass, and a light box. Then, after days spent writing notes and conducting research, I decided to keep Workman’s separation by locality. To be consistent, I used county as the primary heading, city as the secondary heading (when applicable), and information such as landmarks and events as tertiary headings. Also, I added a “topical” section for photographed subjects that spanned multiple counties, including the military, politics, and the Savannah River Plant.

At first, I thought this process would be relatively straightforward and that I would surely finish my processing plan by the end of my first work week. However, four drafts and fifty-four hours later, my plan was officially approved, and I have begun the physical reprocessing of this collection. Although the project will take about a year to complete, we look forward to sharing some of our findings along the way.

By Mae Howe

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Launching Our Grant Project: Reprocessing and Digitizing the William D. Workman, Jr. Papers

William Workman

William D. Workman, Jr comparing the size of the U.S. Constitution and the federal budget’s appendix volume

If you follow SCPC on Facebook or Twitter, you probably saw our June announcement that the National Historical Publications & Records Commission granted us $17,658 for our project, Reprocessing and Digitizing the William D. Workman, Jr. Papers.

As I wrote in a blog post about the Workman Papers photographs last December:

William D. Workman, Jr. was a well-known South Carolina journalist, newspaper editor, and talented photographer. His career as a newspaperman made him a household name throughout the state, and his book The Case for the South provided an important argument in defense of segregation. Although unsuccessful, Workman’s 1962 bid to become one of South Carolina’s US Senators created the skeleton of a statewide Republican Party in what was then a solidly Democratic state.

The Workman Papers are remarkable for their breadth and depth on a number of important issues. The collection’s strengths include civil rights, race relations, politics, and the creation of the Savannah River Plant nuclear facility. These and other themes are represented not just in the textual material in the collection, but in the photographs and other audiovisual materials, as the images below illustrate.

That blog post also contains “sneak peeks” of the types of images that we will be able to make more accessible to scholars, students, and the public as a result of the grant.

So, what will we be doing to make the Workman photos more accessible to users?

First, we’ll change the way they’re arranged and described in the finding aid. This will help people find relevant images more easily. At the same time, we’ll put the collection’s photographs, negatives, and 35mm slides into more protective archival enclosures. This will help protect the items from future damage and extend their lifespans, meaning they’ll be available for use for a much longer period of time.

Next, we will digitize the images and make them available online as a digital collection. Everybody with internet access will be able to check out these photos anytime they want!

William Workman

A view of Walterboro, SC, in 1948 by Workman

When we begin making digitized images available next spring, we’ll also start a crowd-sourcing project to allow the public to add information about individual images. So if you recognize a person, place, or event in a particular image, we’d love to hear from you! This will be SCPC’s first crowd-sourcing project, and we’ll be interested to see how it goes.

As the project director, I use the word “we” a lot. The truth is that most of the day-to-day work on this project will be done by grant-funded Graduate Assistant Mae Howe. Mae is a second-year MLIS candidate. She was previously one of our “regular” SCPC graduate student workers. She has been an asset to SCPC, and I am pleased to have her as our project GA.

Mae and I will continue to blog about this project. We’ll also share especially interesting collection images on SCPC’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. Keep an eye out for updates!

By Laura Litwer

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The Inspirational Sarah Leverette

Sarah Leverette

Sarah Leverette made the cover of Midlands Woman magazine, July 2001.

SCPC donor and friend, Sarah Leverette, will garner another accolade when, on Tuesday, September 26th, she is awarded the 2017 Rev. Sen. Clementa C. Pinckney Award for Justice by the S.C. Appleseed Legal Justice Center. 

The award will be celebrated at their Advocate of the Year reception at 300 Senate Street in downtown Columbia.  Festivities begin at 5:30.   

See their website for more information.

I’m sure Sarah will have an opportunity to address the crowd.  Those who haven’t heard Sarah before can expect a rare treat as she is a moving, powerful speaker with something to say.  I hope to see you there.

By Herb Hartsook

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Hollings and the Exploration of Space

Shuttle Discovery

Photo of the Space Shuttle Discovery, Sept 22, 1993, inscribed to Senator Hollings by Commander Frank L. Culbertson Jr., a South Carolinian

On August 21, Columbia will be one of the lucky destinations in the direct path of the total solar eclipse.  At SCPC, we’re joining in celebration with our colleagues at the University of South Carolina to bring you a new exhibit, “Fritz Hollings and the Exploration of Space.”

The exhibit features stellar selections from our Ernest F. Hollings collection including photographs from the Southern Governors’ Conference visit to Cape Canaveral on the eve of Mercury-Atlas 8’s launch (1962), a US flag patch flown aboard the Orbiter Discovery (1988), letters from enthusiastic supporters of NASA’s space program, and records relating to the investigations of the Challenger (1986) and Columbia (2003) tragedies.

“Hollings and the Exploration of Space” will be on display in the Brittain Gallery (Hollings Library, Main Floor) Aug 16 – Oct 31.

Check out the exhibit and Tweet us your feedback! @UofSC_SCPC #HollingsInSpace

Cape Canaveral

Attendees of the Southern Governors’ Conference on the launch viewing stand at Cape Canaveral, 1962

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Staffers & Political History: Key Links in the Chain

graham office

Staffers at work in Senator Graham’s DC office

SCPC typically enjoys long close relationships with our donors and often with their families and/or senior staff.  In some offices, staff come and go.  In others, senior staff stay with their bosses for years.  Fritz Hollings and Lindsey Graham are members whose staff have often had remarkable tenures. 

We often tout the Graham office as our example of a perfect donor.  We have a strong working relationship with his Washington and South Carolina offices.  His collection receives regular additions.  The additions are materials we want and which add substance to the collection.  The office carefully labels every carton alerting us to the contents.  And, the labels are accurate.  This is not the case with many congressional donors.  It has been the norm for the Graham office since we first received material in 2002 as he prepared to leave the House for the Senate. 

Fritz Hollings has had staffers who worked for him for twenty-five, thirty years and longer.  For our Hollings Oral History Project, a number of these terrifically bright individuals provided unique insights into Hollings and his career.  Through these interviews and other contacts, we’ve forged relationships with many of his most ardent supporters. 

Cartoon depicting New Hampshire voters’ unfamiliarity with Hollings during his run for the presidency
(Kate Salley Palmer)

Jackie McGinnis headed Hollings’ presidential campaign (1983-1984) in the early voting state of New Hampshire.  Hollings was among of a large field of attractive Democratic candidates and became a media favorite.  His strong platform called for a freeze to instill sanity into the federal budget and reporters were particularly drawn to his forceful and eminently quotable speaking style.  Unfortunately, early voters didn’t buy in to Hollings’ candidacy and he withdrew from the race early in 1984.

The Hollings Collection documents well his race for the presidency and Jackie has donated invaluable material.  She remains a devoted Hollings fan and a great friend to SCPC.  Recently, she sent us a dramatic portrait painted in 1982 by noted courtroom sketch artist Freda L. Reiter (1919-1986), and we are excited to add this portrait to our collection.

Following are Jackie’s comments on the portrait:

Freda Reiter

Freda Reiter signature

In 1983/84 I had the privilege of running Senator Hollings’ presidential campaign office in New Hampshire.  The Reiter portrait was displayed in that office.  I recently found the portrait among some treasured items I had put away for safekeeping. I had forgotten that I even had it – but as soon as I found it again, I knew that it belonged in the Hollings Special Collections Library at USC.

During the campaign, I learned a great deal.  I also had a lot of fun.  I admire the Senator so much and very much enjoyed my time with him and Peatsy.  There were many memorable moments.  From the visits of the “Hollings Home Team” from South Carolina to do some canvassing to the dramatic recitations provided by the Senator in the car as we traveled from one campaign stop to another.  Some were so funny that I could hardly see the road because of the tears of laughter coming from my eyes listening to that great voice reading from a favored book.  It still makes me smile when I think about it today.

We have continued to keep in touch over the years and that has meant a great deal to me.  The Senator is a very special person who models all the best qualities that make an exceptional U.S. Senator or President of the United States.  I am very proud of the fact that I once worked for Senator Hollings and had the opportunity to get to know him a little on the personal level as well.  He will always have my deepest respect, my friendship and my love.

The pastel portrait

hollings pastel portrait

By Herb Hartsook

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