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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Battle Flag Battle: The Second Anniversary of the Removal of the Confederate Battle Flag

McNair and West

Robert McNair and John West make their entrance at West’s 1971 inauguration as governor.

This week, SCPC received from the West Foundation a memento of the fight to remove the Confederate Battle Flag from the South Carolina State House.  July 10 marked the second anniversary of the removal of the flag from the State House grounds.

The flag was raised over the State House in 1962 to commemorate the Civil War centennial.  One of our most popular blog posts ever, from July 10, 2015, presented historian John Hammond Moore’s history of the flying of the flag.  For even more on the flag’s removal, see our post of June 24, 2015

The memento we just received is a framed copy of the 1999 petition presented to the state legislature calling for the flag’s removal from the State House dome, where it flew beneath the American and state flags. 

John Carl West (1922-2004) served in the US Army during World War II, and as a state senator, Lt. Governor, Governor and US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.  Known for his intelligence and compassion, in 1999 he helped lead the effort to move the flag, which had become a highly divisive issue.  In December 1999, surviving members of the 1962 General Assembly, led by West and Bob McNair, who preceded West as governor, petitioned the General Assembly to remove the flag from the Dome. They argued that the original intent of the Assembly was simply to commemorate the Civil War, that the flag should have come down afterwards, and the fact that it did not was an oversight in the drafting of the legislation. Signers included SCPC donors West, McNair, Charlie Boineau, Don Holland, Ryan Shealy and Nick Zeigler, and SCPC friends Steve Griffith and Crosby Lewis.  Showing his humor, West proclaimed them “the has-been brigade.”

The day the flag came down

The petition was front page news.  West declared, “This petition represents a historic event. It is the first time in the history of South Carolina. . . that the former legislative body, after more than a quarter of a century, has petitioned . . . an existing legislative body to correct an oversight or error, remedy a wrong and heal a divisive situation.”

The petition helped generate support for some compromise and in 2000, the flag was moved to a pole mounted on the State House grounds beside the Confederate Soldier Monument.  But the sentiment against the flag grew and on July 10, 2015, it was finally removed from the State House grounds to the Confederate Relic Room, completing the process urged by West and his colleagues back in 1999.  We are very pleased to have this memento testifying to the leadership of Governors West and McNair.

By Herb Hartsook

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A Good Slogan: Encapsulating the Essence of a Campaign

Every politician wants a simple campaign slogan that speaks to the hearts of the people and showcases their qualities for office.  A powerful and memorable slogan can be effective in promoting a campaign.  Many my age remember Barry Goldwater’s slogan — In Your Heart, You Know He’s Right.  Of course, just as many recall the opposition’s spin on that one — In Your Guts, You Know He’s Nuts.

John West’s choice

In processing the papers of John West, former governor and ambassador to Saudi Arabia, we discovered a list of over fifty slogans considered by West in his 1970 bid for governor.  It was fascinating and we’ve exhibited the list on a number of occasions.  Some must have earned a quick head shake, like Turn West and Build South Carolina.  West ultimately selected a simple slogan that spoke to the difference he saw between his candidacy and that of his Republican opponent, Albert Watson.  West ultimately chose Elect a Good Man Governor

Albert Watson

Race relations was a key concern in South Carolina and across the nation in 1970.  The issue of busing particularly captured the country’s attention.  The gubernatorial campaign highlighted strong ideological differences between the two candidates.  Watson wore a white necktie to signal his stand on segregation.  By contrast, West was a progressive.  Famously, he had challenged the Klan while serving in the state Senate.  His slogan could be read in two ways — he was a good candidate in that he was well-qualified to lead South Carolina, and he was a good man who would work for all South Carolinians.  West won the election with 53.2% of the major party vote.  Surely his “good slogan” played at least a small part in his victory.

South Carolina has seen any number of memorable slogans.  Olin Johnston’s Roll In With Olin became a song as well as his slogan.  He also campaigned under the slogan Service, Seniority, Sobriety.  Johnston neither drank nor smoked.  Daughter Liz Patterson’s slogan, A Career of Helping People, reminded voters of her lifelong devotion to improving the lives of others as a Peace Corps worker, VISTA organizer, Head Start coordinator, and public official.

And, I’ll end with another favorite, Performance is Better than PromiseFritz Hollings used this slogan for decades.  It emphasizes his distinguished record of achievement making government work for the people while maintaining a sound fiscal structure. 

We’d love to hear your favorite slogans!   

Herb Hartsook

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Two collections find each other: Dixie Walker Papers

Richard L. “Dixie” Walker

Ambassador Richard L. “Dixie” Walker

We recently learned that Drew University in Madison, New Jersey, holds a collection of papers of Richard L. “Dixie” Walker, former ambassador to the Republic of Korea (1981-1986) and founder of the Institute for International Studies at U of SC (since renamed the Walker Institute in his honor).  Walker received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Drew in 1944, before going on to graduate studies at Yale University.

SCPC has a small collection from Walker, consisting of 9.5 linear feet of material primarily documenting his service as ambassador, his family, his publications, and some speeches and topical files.  We were excited to see that Drew’s collection of Walker materials encompasses some 55 linear feet, including very extensive correspondence files and substantive information on his research, publications, and travels.  Drew also holds additional files on Walker’s career in what was then U of SC’s Department of Government and International Studies, as well as scrapbooks, desk diaries, and audiovisual materials.

Now that we know of these complementary collections, the two finding aids are linked online, making it easier for researchers to see what resources are available at both repositories on Walker’s fascinating career in academia as well as public service.

Walker exhibit

Items in the Drew University exhibit on Amb. Walker
(photo from Drew University)

Drew also has installed a temporary exhibit, “The Ambassador’s Life: Richard ‘Dixie’ Walker in South Korea,” curated by Brian Shetler, which will be on display until August 11 in the United Methodist Archives and History Center and Main Library. 

If you are in the area of Madison, New Jersey, please stop by to see it!

By Dorothy Walker (no relation!)

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Theodore’s Tasty Treats

Nick TheodoreOne of the more clever campaign pieces we’ve seen was sent out by Nick Theodore. Theodore’s Tasty Treats is a 5 ½ x 8 inch trifold providing some twenty recipes compiled by his wife Emilie.  We have exhibited this brochure of recipes (Vol. V), urging voters to Re-Elect Theodore for Lt. Governor in 1990. 


Nick Theodore

Some of the recipes (click to enlarge)

Theodore garnered a strong statewide reputation for his progressive leadership and wife Emilie has been an able partner who enjoyed a similarly positive reaction among his constituents.  In addition to the recipes, the clever mailing provided a brief summary of his life and accomplishments, all presented as “OUR BEST RECIPE!”

We knew we needed to share at least one recipe, but had a difficult time selecting just one.  Among the contenders were Pee Dee Pickled Black-Eyed Peas and Emilie’s Spanakopeta.  After grueling debate, we opted for the following:

Midlands Warm Potato Salad

3 lb. red-skinned potatoes

⅓ cup olive oil

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 ½ teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon pepper

⅓ cup chopped green onion

1 tablespoon chopped chives

  • Wash potatoes. Halve or quarter larger ones.  Cook in salted boiling water until tender – about 20 to 25 min.  Drain, Cool, Skins will come off easily, if desired.
  • Whisk together oil, vinegar, mustard, salt & pepper.
  • Put potatoes into serving bowl. Sprinkle with green onions and chives.
  • Drizzle dressing over potatoes and toss to mix well.
  • Best served at room temperature, but great the next day too!

If you try this, and like it, you should let Nick and Emilie know. 

If you try it and don’t like it, please send your complaints to me. 

Nick Theodore

 The non-recipe “leaf” of the brochure

Be sure to take a look at the Nick Theodore finding aid–now online!

~ By Herb Hartsook

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More Product, Less Process: A Reassessment

I drafted the following post earlier this year and intended it to run before now, but it didn’t.  It appears today because of the terrible news that Mark Greene has died in a car accident.  I consider Mark to be the brightest archivist of my time.  He was also a dear friend with a twisted sense of humor that melded perfectly with my own.  I am near tears as I write this.

Herb Hartsook

Mark Greene

Mark Greene

In 2005, the scholarly article, “More Product, Less Process: Revamping Traditional Archival Processing,” shook the archival world.  Mark Greene and Dennis Meissner challenged the archival profession to rethink everything they do in arranging and describing collections.  The authors argued that archivists needed to re-imagine the time and attention traditionally allocated to handling each and every sheet of paper in arranging a collection, as well as the performance of expensive and time-consuming preservation work and the detailed description of archival collections.  It stands as the best known article to date written on the archival profession.

Dennis Meissner

Dennis Meissner

Greene and Meissner were persuasive in arguing that existing archival standards had resulted in universal, crippling, and ever-growing backlogs of unprocessed collections.  Their article offered a solution.  They presented a menu of options to speed up the processing and opening of collections.  Chiefly, they pointed out that collections, or series within collections, are not uniformly valuable, and that every archival collection should not automatically receive identical handling.  Adopting the strategies they advocated would result in major positive results – chiefly, making collections available much more rapidly and thus shrinking backlogs.

Greene and Meissner were pragmatists offering a solution to a real and growing problem.  Within a short time, MPLP became generally accepted as a standard for the profession.  But, their theory is occasionally abused to affirm shoddy work.  SCPC has been a prominent critic of MPLP as a tool in working with congressional collections.  We argue that the presence of sensitive and even classified documents among congressional collections requires individual inspection of much of the material we receive.

MPLPBut on March 21, 2017, SCPC opened the papers of Environmentalists, Inc., a large modern collection which we processed using MPLP standards.  Users of the collection will note its description is much less detailed than is our norm.  And the collection has not been completely refoldered.  But these rich materials are now available and being used, just as Greene and Meissner would want.

So, I write this partly an admission that I should have been more generous in my treatment of Greene and Meissner.  I won’t rehash my objections to the misapplication of MPLP standards, but I do want to celebrate the impact that creative and deep reflection, such as that shown by Mark Greene and Dennis Meissner, can have on one profession. 

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Butterfly Ballots and Hanging Chads: Our New (Old) Voting Machine

voting booth

Instructions posted inside the booth from Palm Beach County, FL

We are excited to have received a new item recently—a vintage voting machine—thanks to Dean Charles Bierbauer of the College of Information and Communication.  Close examination shows it was most recently used in Palm Beach County, Florida, during the presidential election of 2000.  Palm Beach County was the epicenter of that election’s historic recount controversy.


Dean Charles Bierbauer

An incredibly close contest between Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Al Gore hinged on Florida and the recount of the Florida vote.  Previously unfamiliar, but suddenly ubiquitous, was the technical vocabulary about these Palm Beach County voting machines, with their punch-card “butterfly” ballots and a tendency towards “hanging” and “pregnant” chads.  Disputes over the counting of ballots in Palm Beach County led to court challenges including Bush v. Palm Beach County Canvassing Board et al. and Bush v. Gore, both of which wound up in the Supreme Court of the United States.  The Court’s decision in the latter case ultimately allowed certification of Florida’s electoral votes for George W. Bush, giving him a narrow Electoral College victory.

(See a post about our other voting machine received from Congressman Joe Wilson’s office back in 2012.  You may have seen it on exhibit here in the Hollings Library, and even voted on it as part of our mock election this past fall!)

By Dorothy Walker

voting machine

This type of voting machine folds up into a briefcase for easy handling. We have a similar one that was donated to us several years ago by Congressman Joe Wilson.

When we opened it, we found the official sample ballot for the general election in Palm Beach County, Florida, on November 7, 2000.

The term “butterfly ballot” derived from the listing of candidates’ names on both sides of the ballot, with the ballot to be “punched” in the center. This was a brand new style of ballot for the 2000 election, designed by Palm Beach County’s supervisor of elections. Some voters reported that they found the ballot’s format confusing and that they accidentally voted for Reform candidate Pat Buchanan (#4) when they intended to vote for Democratic candidate Al Gore (#5).

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Jack Bass Papers Opening to Researchers!

Mary Clare Johnson

Mary Clare Johnson

As SCPC prepares to open the papers of journalist and historian Jack Bass, Mary Clare Johnson reflects on her experience in completing the arrangement and description of his papers.  As our Senior Graduate Assistant, she was entrusted with completing a project I began in the 1990s.  While the soon-to-open collection represents the vast bulk of his papers, we receive regular additions documenting Jack’s current interests and activities.  Thanks to the Schuyler L. and Yvonne Moore Endowment, Mary Clare, who graduated this past Saturday, will continue working with us while she seeks her first full-time professional position.  We know she will have a successful career.  ~HJH

Jack Bass

Jack Bass at the typewriter

We are pleased to announce the opening for research of the Jack Bass Collection. An exhibit in the Brittain Gallery of the Hollings Library celebrates Bass’s life and accomplishments.

Jack Bass is a prolific author, journalist, oral historian, and professor. He has obtained national recognition for his research and works on the American South, particularly in the areas of politics and civil rights. He has received such awards as South Carolina Journalist of the Year in 1968 and 1972 and the South Carolina Governor’s Award in the Humanities in 2011. Some of the colleges and universities at which Bass has taught include the University of South Carolina, University of Mississippi, and College of Charleston. As a newspaperman, he worked for The News and Courier and The Charlotte Observer among others. He has written numerous articles relating to government, race, and politics in South Carolina and other Southern states.

Bass and Carter

Bass with President Jimmy Carter, 1978

Bass has authored and co-authored a total of eight books including The Orangeburg Massacre (1970), Ol’ Strom: An Unauthorized Biography of Strom Thurmond (1998), and Taming the Storm: The Life and Times of Frank M. Johnson, Jr. and the South’s Fight Over Civil Rights (1993), with the latter winning the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. As an oral historian, Bass has interviewed notable figures, including Bill Clinton, U.S. Congressman James Clyburn, and South Carolina Governor Richard Riley.

Bass and Dupree

Bass with his wife, well-known author, chef, and cooking show host Nathalie Dupree

His papers, c. 1936 to 2017, chiefly consist of materials documenting Bass’s work in researching and writing his books and articles. Other materials relate to Bass’s academic career at various institutions and his 1978 run for Congress.

Democratic candidate Bass attempted to unseat four-term Republican congressman Floyd Spence, who represented South Carolina’s Second Congressional District. One of his supporters wrote, “Your campaign seems to be only a natural progression from the compassion and concern that was always evident in your writing… I was inspired by your work and it’s quite heartening to see someone testing heart-felt convictions in public life.” Bass won the Democratic primary, but lost the general election to Spence.

Contributed by Mary Clare Johnson, Graduate Assistant (now graduate!)

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Collection Open! Environmentalists, Inc.

We are pleased to announce that the Environmentalists, Inc. Papers are available for research. The task of processing the collection was challenging, yet rewarding, for me. During my involvement, I learned a great deal about and gained appreciation for environmental activism and justice. We arranged and described the collection using a modified More Product, Less Process (MPLP) approach in order to expedite its availability. This means that some parts of the collection have only been processed to the subseries level, instead of the more detailed folder level to which we normally process collections.

Barnwell nuclear plant

Barnwell Nuclear Fuel Plant

Environmentalists, Inc. (E.I.) is a small, non-profit, grassroots organization dedicated to protecting the environment. It was founded in South Carolina in February 1972 in response to the planned construction of the Barnwell Nuclear Fuel Plant. Built to process spent nuclear fuel from commercial power reactors, the plant was never used for this purpose, and instead was used briefly for research and development programs. E.I.’s efforts to prevent the plant’s construction had directed national attention to the hazards of nuclear waste, and eventually led to the decommissioning the plant in 1997-1998.

Ruth Thomas

Ruth Thomas testifying at a hearing on the Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Station, 1984

Comprised of fewer than 100 members, E.I. has worked for many years to combat the promotion of nuclear power without adequate attention to its risks and weaknesses and to assist individuals and organizations in ensuring a healthy environment in South Carolina. The group has been involved in many appeals and lawsuits to prevent projects that threaten the environment and public health. The driving force behind the organization has been Ruth Sackett Thomas (b. 1920), a former art teacher and draftswoman. Thomas has served in many different roles in E.I., including founding member, legal assistant, researcher, and president.

The papers date from 1946 to 2015 and consist largely of legal and topical materials. Legal materials pertain to the many lawsuits and other legal proceedings in which E.I. was involved or took an interest. Topical materials reflect the extensive research the organization conducted on nuclear and hazardous waste. The collection also includes administrative and financial records, as well as environmental publications produced by various organizations.

Contributed by Mary Clare Johnson, Graduate Assistant

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