Congressman Jim Clyburn publishes memoir

Allen Anderson, Photographer: Clyburn Book Signing 14050501 &emdash; AA_258

Photo by Allen Anderson

Congressman Jim Clyburn spoke on Monday, May 5 at the Hollings Library about his new memoir entitled “Blessed Experiences:  Genuinely Southern, Proudly Black.”  Clyburn has been working on the book for almost 20 years, and he described the process he went through in naming the book.  The original title was “I, Too Am a Southerner.”  This working title came about after a discussion Clyburn had years ago with Phil Grose, his longtime friend and collaborator on the book.  An unnamed politician had made a racially offensive comment, and when Clyburn confronted him later privately, his explanation, meant to excuse the offensive comment, was that he was “a southerner.”  In a later discussion about this incident Clyburn and Grose both observed that they were proud to consider themselves and their families to be southerners too.

The current title incorporates the pride that Clyburn and his family hold in having grown up in the south; while also commemorating his father’s favorite hymn, “Blessed Assurance,” which he used to frequently hum around the house.  As Clyburn has said of the title, “All of my experiences were not pleasant, but all of them were blessings.”

A former high school teacher, and proponent of public education, Clyburn said in his speech on Monday that he wanted “every tenth grader to be able to pick [the] book up, understand every word in it, and use it as a primer.”  The event on Monday at the Hollings Library was well-attended with around 130 present, and the crowd was standing room only; many of Clyburn’s family members were present as well.  159 books were sold, exceeding the number of attendees.

Allen Anderson, Photographer: Clyburn Book Signing 14050501 &emdash; AA_009

Mayor Steve Benjamin looks at the Clyburn exhibit. Photo by Allen Anderson.

SCPC donor and longtime political activist Charles T. “Bud” Ferillo introduced Clyburn, and a book-signing followed the speech.  Coinciding with Clyburn’s visit and the book launch is an exhibit about the Congressman which will be on display for the month of May in the Brittain Gallery of the Hollings Library.  Photographs, bumper stickers, newspaper clippings, campaign pamphlets, and buttons document Clyburn’s long and impressive career.

Contributed by Graduate Assistant Mary Kennington Steele

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Butler Carson Derrick, Jr. (1936-2014)

Butler Derrick was a powerful legislator who also provided stellar constituent service, an acute observer of government and politics, and a delightful storyteller.  He won Bryan Dorn’s seat in Congress in 1974 after Mr. Dorn decided to run for Governor rather than seek certain re-election to the House.  Derrick’s service in the House was marked by influence, from his early appointments to the Budget and Rules Committees, to his mid-career service on the Congressional Textile Caucus and the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, and culminating in his appointment as Chief Deputy Majority Whip.

We approached Derrick immediately on hearing his unexpected February 1994 announcement that he was retiring from the House.   Eventually, I travelled to Washington and met with his staff to determine what should and should not be included in his collection.  I also visited his district offices and, in time, conducted oral history interviews with Mr. Derrick and several long-term staff.  It was my first experience in actually closing a congressional office.  To this day I remain impressed with the people Butler had gathered around him and their loyalty.

Butler Derrick and family and Dr. and Mrs. PalmsI learn something from almost every one of our donors.  Butler taught me about the desire to serve.  Every time I was with him, at some point, he would ask me, “What can I do for you?” or “How can I help you?”  He seemed ill at ease unless I had a favor that he could grant me.

When I think of Butler, I rarely picture him at his office, or in his home, or behind the wheel of a new sports car.  Instead, I think of a painting by his wife Beverly, who is a marvelously talented artist.  It was a hunting scene showing Butler in a field, shotgun in hand and wearing a bright red jacket.  All you saw was Butler’s back, but somehow Beverly’s art allowed her to capture Butler so clearly, that you immediately knew that it was Butler.  He will be sorely missed and my life is so much richer for having known him.

 –Contributed by Herb Hartsook

 

 

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The Diplomatic Life

James P. Richards, 3rd from the left, in Pakistan as special ambassador to the Middle East under President Eisenhower in 1957.

A new exhibit now graces the South Carolina Political Collections gallery.  Experience The Diplomatic Life through September 1st in the Hollings Library.  Here at Political Collections, we have the papers of a lot of congressmen, governors, judges, and so on, but did you know we have the papers of diplomats?  Dorothy and I thought it about time to shine some light on them.

Invitation sent to Rita Derrick Hayes in Geneva.  Ambassador Hayes was Deputy U.S. Trade Representative and U.S. Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organization (WTO) from 1997 to 2001.

Invitation sent to Rita Derrick Hayes in Geneva. Ambassador Hayes was Deputy U.S. Trade Representative and U.S. Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organization (WTO) from 1997 to 2001.

Diplomacy is influenced by representatives in the legislative and executive branches (boy, do we have some congressional travel files we could show you!) but diplomacy is officially the domain of the diplomatic corps: negotiators and delegates, foreign service officers, and ambassadors, all representing their country in a multitude of ways.  In The Diplomatic Life, we attempt to look at this multitude.

Former SC Governor John West with King Khalid of Saudi Arabia. West was U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 1977 to 1981.

Former SC Governor John West with King Khalid of Saudi Arabia. West was U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 1977 to 1981.

This exhibit examines in brief the careers of six individuals navigating different avenues of American diplomatic service.  We explore the realities and challenges of ambassadorial appointments to Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Canada, and the World Trade Organization, along with a diplomatic career in the U.S. Foreign Service and a unique assignment as a Special Assistant to the President on a Middle East mission in the 1950s.

Every item in this blog post is on display, representing each of the six diplomats.  We want to show you more, though, especially if you can’t visit us in person.  This month and next, we’ll put up posts looking more closely at items in the exhibit and explaining how they represent different facets of a diplomat’s career.

David Wilkins, U.S. Ambassador to Canada from 2005 to 2009, may have been the closest to home of anyone in this exhibit, but as this cover lets on, Canada must have felt like a world away from the beaches of South Carolina.

David Wilkins, U.S. Ambassador to Canada from 2005 to 2009, may have been the closest to home of anyone in this exhibit, but as this cover lets on, Canada must have felt a world away from the beaches back home.

Paul Kattenburg's career in the U.S. Foreign Service began in 1950.  From 1950 to 1962, he and his family lived in Washington, Manila, and Frankfurt.  He eventually became an officer for the State Department’s Bureau of Far Eastern Affairs.  Kattenburg finished his diplomatic career at the Foreign Service Institute’s School of Professional Studies, teaching new Foreign Service workers the trade. Though he performed contract work for the U.S. government for the rest of his life, he officially retired in 1973, taking on a new academic career.

From 1950 to 1962, Paul Kattenburg’s career in the U.S. Foreign Service took him and his family from Washington to Manila to Frankfurt. He eventually became an officer for the State Department’s Bureau of Far Eastern Affairs. He finished his diplomatic career at the Foreign Service Institute’s School of Professional Studies, teaching new Foreign Service workers the trade.

Invitation sent to Richard "Dixie" Walker, U.S. Ambassador to South Korea from 1981 to 1986.

Invitation sent to Richard “Dixie” Walker, U.S. Ambassador to South Korea from 1981 to 1986.  Walker joined the faculty at the University of South Carolina in 1957 and founded the Institute for International Studies in 1961 (renamed for him in 1994).

 

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In the Family Tradition

On April 2, we were delighted to welcome family members of the late Senator Olin Johnston and of Congresswoman Liz Patterson for a tour of our exhibit, “In the Family Tradition: Olin D. Johnston and Elizabeth J. Patterson.”

FamilyIncluded in the party were Senator Johnston’s daughter Sallie and her granddaughter, and Mrs. Patterson’s children Pat and Catherine, as well as Catherine’s children.  After enjoying the exhibit, we walked over to the South Caroliniana Library to see Senator Johnston’s historic desk, which is installed in the Manuscripts Division reading room—the Olin D. Johnston Memorial Room.  Coincidentally, it was exactly forty-five years to the day since the University dedicated this room.

The dedication honored the former governor and U.S. Senator, who died in 1965, and whose papers formed the first major congressional collection ever received by the University.  It also honored friends of Sen. Johnston for their success in endowing a professorship in political science at USC.  The fundraising campaign, chaired by Congressman Robert Hemphill, raised nearly $100,000, a huge sum in the 1960s.

U.S. Senator Ernest F. “Fritz” Hollings, fresh from winning his first full Senate term, attended the dedication, and Governor Robert E. McNair delivered the address.  McNair praised Johnston “as a friend and a great teacher in the art of serving our fellow man.”  He noted that Johnston was “a man who championed difficult causes,” and was devoted to the working class on the farm and in the mills.

Senator Olin Johnston and his daughter, Liz.

Senator Olin Johnston and his daughter, Liz.

The papers of Johnston, Hemphill, Hollings, and McNair form core holdings of SCPC.

Mrs. Patterson also visited us last week with husband Dwight and a friend and toured the exhibit.  She is an inspirational figure and all of our staff and students enjoyed this opportunity to visit and hear stories of her life and public service.

 

Contributed by Herb Hartsook

 

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Spence and the Sunbelt Caucus

Congressman Spence

Congressman Spence

Our good friend Craig Metz, former chief of staff to Congressman Floyd Spence (1928-2001), pointed out that the Carl Albert Center includes among its holdings the papers of the Congressional Sunbelt Caucus.  Eleven feet of papers, chiefly 1981 to 1982 and 1987 to 1994, document the efforts of this bipartisan coalition of Southern and Southwestern representatives.  Mr. Spence was its first vice-chair.  The caucus proposed and tracked legislation for the Sunbelt states, and also advocated for more federal funding targeting the region.

 

The Albert Center was established in 1979 and holds a broad range of political collections consisting of over sixty collections ranging in size from 0.25 to 697 feet.  The Center also has a very active programming component.

Our Spence collection consists of some 74 feet of material, c. 1928-2001, and researchers studying the Caucus will find listed on our description, which is available on our website, seven folders of papers relating to the Caucus, 1981 to 1989.

Spence at the 1976 Republican National Convention

Spence at the 1976 Republican National Convention

 

I will never forget, when we first established SCPC, we wrote to each member of the South Carolina delegation, inviting them to entrust their papers to us.  Mr. Spence called me the day the letter arrived and asked what he could do to help us.  I responded that he could designate us as his repository.  He replied, “Done, what more can I do?”  A great gentleman!

 

 –Contributed by Herb Hartsook

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“Passing the Torch”

treadwell001

Dr. Henrie Treadwell

On Mar. 27, the I. DeQuincey Newman Institute for Peace and Social Justice, The College of Social Work, and the African American Studies Program presented an excellent program featuring a speech by Henrie Treadwell titled, “Passing the Torch: Civil Rights Agenda for the 21st Century.”   Dr. Treadwell addressed concerns over our educational, court and particularly prison systems.  Males of color, African Americans and Hispanics, are disproportionately suspended and expelled from school; often treated by the courts, while juveniles, as adults; and disproportionately imprisoned, leading to a society in which 1 in 3 African American males born today can expect to spend time in prison during their lifetime.  It was a powerful presentation in which Treadwell challenged the audience to take action.  Her aunt Modjeska would have been so proud of her.

The College of Social Work kindly invited SCPC to mount an exhibit and, as we have once before for them, we displayed a selection from the papers of the Rev. Newman, and added materials from the papers of Dr. Treadwell’s aunt, Civil Rights leader Modjeska Simkins, and also material on Treadwell herself.  Thanks to the generosity and sense of history shared by Mrs. Simkins’ family, her papers are preserved and made available for study at SCPC.  Since their donation, Dr. Treadwell has taken an active interest in our program and become a great friend.  It has been gratifying to see her recognized for her role in desegregating USC in 1963.

I. DeQuincey Newman

The event was held at USC’s Spigner House and drew a crowd of about eighty, filling Spigner, and including an impressive showing of students enrolled in the College.  Professor Bobby Donaldson was in attendance and brought images gathered by him while heading the Columbia SC 63 desegregation project.  Emily Newman, the Rev. Newman’s daughter and donor of the Newman papers, was also in attendance.  The April release by USC Press of Prof. Sadye Logan’s book, The Spirit of an Activist: The Life and Work of I. DeQuincey Newman, was announced.  I am eager to see it.

I was very impressed by the student turnout and the close relationship evidenced by the students and the College faculty.  And Dean Anna Scheyett made most eloquent closing remarks to end a very successful evening.  I don’t know that anything I do is more satisfying than when I serve have the opportunity to serve as the public face of SCPC at an event like this.

–Contributed by Herb Hartsook

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The United States Congress: The First 225 Years

See more at: http://congressweek.org/#sthash.aZquOnXr.dpuf

See more at: http://congressweek.org/#sthash.aZquOnXr.dpuf

The week of April 1, 2014, will be celebrated as Congress Week, as sponsored by the Association of Centers for the Study of Congress.

SCPC is one of just over forty institutional members of this organization, which is dedicated to preserving material documenting the work of Congress and encouraging research in those holdings.

Many of the institutions are repositories holding the papers of members of Congress.  Some, like SCPC and the Russell Library at UGA, collect broadly.  Others, like the Dole Institute at KU and the Byrd Center at Shepherd University stress public programming on current events or issues such as leadership.    The National Archives’ Center for Legislative Archives is also a prominent member.

You can learn more about ACSC by visiting its web site: http://www.congresscenters.org/

In publicizing Congress Week, ACSC president Frank Mackaman, of the Dirksen Center, wrote:

The United States Congress is 225 years old this year and we think this is cause for celebration and reflection….We want to encourage a focus on Congress each year during the month of April, the month in 1789 when Congress first got down to the business of governing the United States under its new Constitution….

    While Congress is a co-equal branch of government, the action today seems to be embodied in the president, not Congress. We have President’s Day every year, we conduct grand inaugural events when presidents are sworn in, and the news tends to focus on the president as the one individual who should govern the nation. Yet when each new Congress convenes every two years, the public pays hardly a nod to the event.  So Congress Week is a device, a non-partisan reminder, that Congress bears co-equal responsibility for governing the nation. Its rich and colorful history needs more of the nation’s attention.

    In coming years we hope Congress Week will spark a closer examination of the First Branch of government, encourage schools to develop programs to highlight the work of Congress, and stimulate more scholarly research into Congress by a wide range of disciplines.

    Congress has governed the nation for 225 years, and we hope it will survive and thrive for centuries to come. It can only do so if the nation continues to understand and appreciate the Constitution of the United States and the meaning of representative democracy.  James Madison and other founders believed strongly that an informed citizenry was the best hope for good government. We hope Congress Week will contribute to an informed citizenry.

SCPC currently holds the papers of some twenty-five members of Congress serving primarily in the post-World War II era, including those of current members, Senator Lindsey Graham and Congressmen Mark Sanford and Joe Wilson.  Our sister institution, the South Caroliniana Library, holds the papers of a number of members who served before 1945.  We value these papers not only for their documentation of government but because they help document in a very personal manner the lives, hopes, and fears of the people of South Carolina and our country through the letters, emails and other messages they send to their representatives in government, hoping to sway the legislative process and make all of our lives better.

As Mackaman wrote, “the great experiment in representative democracy is still an ongoing process.”

So, please join us during this first week of April in celebrating Congress Week!

–Contributed by Herb Hartsook

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Congress Week Exhibit: Early Congressmen and women in South Carolina

In celebration of Congress Week, I was designated to design our monthly exhibit for April, to be centered around early Congressional elections. This topic gave me a broad variety of collections to choose from, and a variety of approaches to take. I decided to work with our three earliest Congressional collections. My aim in assembling this exhibit was to demonstrate the broad range of subjects and materials available at the South Carolina Political Collections, even within collections from as far back as eighty years ago.

gasque

Allard Henry Gasque
Sixth District Congressman
1923-1938

The three collections I chose to work with were those of Allard Henry Gasque, Butler Black Hare, and Thomas and Clara McMillan, all working before and throughout the Great Depression. The exhibit includes materials relating to agriculture and agricultural assistance and Philippine independence as well as photographs and biographical articles.

You can stop by and see the exhibit in the Hollings Library on weekdays from 8:30am to 5pm. It will be just outside the entrance to the South Carolina Political Collections gallery.

Contributed by graduate student assistant Clara Bertagnolli

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Judge Matthew J. Perry: In His Own Words

Picture of Matthew J. Perry, Jr.As a lawyer, Judge Matthew J. Perry was heavily involved in many important, precedent-setting civil rights cases.  He argued before the United States Supreme Court multiple times, and lost only one case there.  He became the first African American federal judge from South Carolina, and is remembered for his civility and respectful nature both in the courtroom and out, even while pursuing divisive and conflict-ridden issues.  In his extensive, 184 page oral history he discusses his early life, education, and career as a lawyer.  Dr. Robert J. Moore conducted the interview; he is a historian, contributor to Judge Perry’s biography, and was a personal friend of the judge and his wife, Hallie.  Perry was a part of the second graduating class of 1951 at the South Carolina State Law School, which was established to comply with the “separate but equal” law as it was at the time, after South Carolina was given the choice of establishing a law school for African Americans, admitting them to USC Law, or closing USC Law.  While in law school the law required him to sit in the balcony at the courthouse; the federal courthouse in Columbia is now named for him.

There were few African American lawyers in South Carolina at the time, and Perry tells a particularly moving story about starting out as the only African American lawyer in Spartanburg in the early 50’s.  There was a general practice of lawyers gathering at the front of the courtroom on the first day of a new session of court, and one morning they were gathered and were all socializing and chatting amongst themselves, and with the judge, before court started.  When Perry arrived, no one spoke to him, the only acknowledgement he received was being looked at “as if [he] was some kind of fool” for going up to the front of the courtroom.  He describes how badly it made him feel to be ignored and left out, but that he had vowed never to let that show.  When the then mayor of Spartanburg, Tom Whiteside arrived, Judge Perry says that it was “as if one of the major stars had walked into the courtroom,” and right away he came over to Perry and shook his hand, in what is described as a very kind and reassuring gesture.

Another anecdote from his days as a young lawyer involves meeting a judge for the first time after having communicated about a case via mail and telephone.  They had arranged a meeting, and the judge said he would take Perry to lunch afterwards.  This judge evidently was not aware of Perry’s race, and when they met he was so surprised that he inhaled his partially smoked cigar, and it became temporarily lodged in his throat.  The lunch was not mentioned.  Judge Perry tells this story in an amusing way; it is a testament to his character that he is able to look back with humor on certain incidents in a more lighthearted way, even while these same incidents serve to highlight the racial injustices he endured.  He looks back on even some of the cruelest incidents with a huge degree of reason, logic, and awareness; and with a complete lack of bitterness or hatred.

Judge Perry discusses in detail his various United States Supreme Court appearances.  His first Supreme Court case was a death penalty case, and it was the only case he lost there.  This took place in 1960, when he was still a relatively new lawyer, and appealing a case to the U.S. Supreme Court was an unfamiliar and daunting prospect.  After the Court took the case, Perry asked Thurgood Marshall to argue the case for him, but he responded “You filed it and they granted it, now you argue it.”  Perry describes his extensive preparations for the case:  packing a hundred volumes of books on Supreme Court practice in the trunk of the car to take to Washington, reading every Supreme Court death penalty case he could find, virtually memorizing the trial transcript, and staying up all night before the argument reading and studying, unable to sleep from excitement or nervousness.  It is intriguing to know that even someone so accomplished, and with such a long and illustrious legal career, was nervous going before the Supreme Court the first time, and to hear him reminisce about the experience first-hand.

Judge Perry represented Harvey Gantt in the case to integrate Clemson in 1963, and he accompanied Gantt to campus to enroll and remained friends with him; this case as well as the actual process of integrating Clemson are both discussed in detail in the interview.  When asked what he considers to have been his biggest case, in terms of social impact, Perry points to several cases.  Stevenson v. West was a United States Supreme Court case which reapportioned the South Carolina House of Representatives into single-member districts, making the process fairer, and making it possible for African Americans gain more representation in the state legislature.  In another case, Brown v. South Carolina Board of Education, Perry blocked a plan to give parents state money to send their children to private schools, which would have resulted in continued segregation.  Perry said “we think we saved the public schools of South Carolina through that lawsuit.”  In State v. Edwards, 187 protesters were arrested for disturbing the peace while marching at the South Carolina State House.  They were not being rowdy, and were in a location where they were lawfully allowed to be, and were not blocking traffic or interfering with any government function.  Perry argued this case before the United States Supreme Court, where the convictions were reversed on First Amendment grounds.  The precedent set in that case and other cases he pursued resulted in the reversals of convictions of thousands of people around the country.  Eventually, Perry built up a reputation such that sometimes merely writing a letter or threatening to sue would get the opposition to go ahead and change its discriminatory policy.

Judge Perry faced opposition from many South Carolina lawmakers, as well as citizens, on the issue of civil rights.  However, he fostered what he describes as a good working relationship and gained the respect of many people whose job descriptions included enforcing segregation, as it was the law at the time.  Perry does not speak ill of anyone, even those who were ardently opposed to and actively fighting against civil rights and integration.  A federal judge wrote in an essay for Perry’s biography, “he is the only militant civil rights figure I know who seems to be loved by both racial groups while still engaged in the struggle.”  When Perry was nominated for federal judgeships, first at the United States Court of Military Appeals, and then to the United States District Court, he mentions that many of the people he had opposed through the years wrote letters, presumably to the Senate, praising him professionally.  This is mentioned simply in passing, but seems to speak a great deal to his professionalism, civility, and integrity.

To learn more about Judge Matthew J. Perry, check out his oral history here.

Contributed by graduate student assistant Mary Kennington Steele

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Women’s History Month: Women in Power in South Carolina

With the changing months also comes the changing of South Carolina Political Collections’ small exhibit in the Britain Gallery of Hollings Library.  Women’s History Month is celebrated worldwide every March, and this year is no different.  This month’s theme is “Women in Power” featuring two former representatives from South Carolina’s House of Representatives.  Harriet H. Keyserling and Candy Yaghjian Waites were both adamant advocates of women in politics and the South Carolina education system, just to name two.

keyserling

State Representative Harriet Keyserling

Mrs. Keyserling began her political career later in life, but made a lasting imprint on South Carolina politics in her eighteen years of public service.  Education was her passion. She “saw that the County Council was not doing enough for education,” and determined she would help bring about change.  In 1974, Mrs. Keyserling became the first woman elected to the Beaufort County Council.  Among her initiatives, she went on to create a library consortium with other Low Country libraries, eliminating duplication and enhancing availability of resources for the citizens of Beaufort County. 

In 1976, Mrs. Keyserling was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives.  It wasn’t long before Keyserling and other legislators, known as the “Crazy Caucus,” joined forces to advocate for such causes as rules reform, education, the environment, the arts, ethics, and campaign reform.  Mrs. Keyserling was a member of the Joint Legislative Committee on Cultural Affairs; instrumental in the passage of the Education Improvement Act; served on the Ways and Means Committee, the Public Works Committee, the Rules Committee, the Judiciary Committee, and the Joint Legislative Committee on Energy.  In 1992, Mrs. Keyserling announced her decision to retire from the House of Representatives, but she continued her work in the community until her death in 2010.

waites

Candy Waites campaign card

Candy Yaghjian Waites’ mother was active in the League of Women Voters, which helped to cultivate her interest in public service.  While a student at Wheaton College in Massachusetts in 1964, Waites and her friends held a fundraiser to help get her home to South Carolina to vote in the presidential election.  At this time South Carolina was one of only a few states that did not extend absentee ballots to out of state college students.  While $100 seems like a small amount to pay for a plane ticket, at that time it was expensive.  Not only did she get help from her fellow students, the story was picked up nationally and donations from around the country poured in to help in her plight.  The following spring, Waites addressed the South Carolina Senate concerning amending the absentee ballot law to open it to college students. 

In 1976, Waites was the first woman elected to the Richland County Council.  As a Council member for twelve years, she sat on such boards as the Central Midlands Regional Planning Council Board and the Richland County Coordinating Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect.  In 1988, Waites was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives.  She served for six years.  During her tenure, she was involved in many issues, including child care, education, women in politics, and ethics reform.  Last week, WIS Investigative Reporter Jody Barr visited the Hollings Library to interview Ms. Waites on ethics-related issues.  The piece aired on February 27, 2014. 

waites 2

Candy Waites speaks with reporter Jody Barr

Please come by and check out the exhibit featuring Harriet Keyserling and Candy Yaghjian Waites, as well as the Olin D. Johnston and Elizabeth Johnston Patterson exhibit featured in SCPC’s main gallery.  For more information regarding these two great women, or any of our other holdings, check our website.

By: Sara Norman

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