Now Available! New Politics in the Old South: Ernest F. Hollings in the Civil Rights Era

New Politics in the Old South: Ernest F. Hollings in the Civil Rights Era, by David T. Ballantyne, is now available from U.S.C. Press.  Ballantyne conducted extensive research at SCPC for his Ph.D. dissertation for the University of Cambridge.  This book is a revision of that dissertation.

Ballantyne focuses on “Fritz” Hollings’ early life and particularly on the period 1948-1974.   This includes portions of the years Hollings served as governor of South Carolina, 1959-1963, and U.S. senator, 1966-2005.

Readers of our blog will recall Ballantyne’s submission last month in which he described his research experience.  We highly recommend this scholarly examination of a distinguished and important leader and look forward to future studies of Hollings’ life and impact.

Here are links to U.S.C. Press’ book description and order form.

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Cheers to the Season!


The original cocktail recipe

The original cocktail recipe

For many people the Christmas season involves traditions, such as decorating a tree, hanging festive lights, and singing certain holiday songs. Another tradition may include special foods and drinks. In keeping with this theme, we would like to share a drink recipe with our readers. It was discovered among materials recently added to the collection of John C. West, who served as governor of South Carolina (1971-1975) and U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia (1977-1981). He loved socializing and was well-known for entertaining.

As you can see, the handwritten recipe requires some deciphering, and none of us at SCPC has been able to make out the word after “Honey” in the second line. If any of you can identify it, please pass on your suggestions in the comments. And if anyone feels emboldened to try this drink, let us know how it tasted. Enjoy!

After Dinner Drink

Honey [Lush?] – Krupnikas [Lithuanian Honey Spirits]

1 tablespoon caraway seeds

10 cloves

10 whole allspice

2-3 sticks cinnamon

1 vanilla bean cut

2 pieces yellow ginger

2 pieces white ginger

10 opened cardamom seeds

½ whole nutmeg

2-3 strips orange rind

2-3 strips lemon rind

1 pinch saffron

4 cups water

2 lbs. honey*

1 quart honey*

1 quart 190 proof grain alcohol

john west

John & Lois West in the S.C. Governor’s Mansion — host & hostess extraordinaire

Simmer all spices in water until reduced to 2 cups (about 1 hour). Strain through cheese cloth. Bring honey to slow boil and strain off white foam. Add 2 cups of spice liquid (without spices) to honey and remove from heat. Slowly add grain alcohol.

 * We don’t know why honey is included twice in two different measures.  We checked, and 1 quart of honey weighs 3 pounds.

Post by Mary Clare Johnson (SCPC Grad Assistant)


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Holiday Schedule

tumblr_nyh4k4tyju1uswp8qo1_1280SCPC will close for the Christmas break at 5:00 pm on Wednesday, December 21st.

We will re-open at 8:30 am on Tuesday, January 3, 2017.

Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season from all of us at SCPC!


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From Cambridge to Columbia to Keele, via Fritz Hollings


David Ballantyne with his newly-published book

In October 2010, I started as a fresh-faced PhD student at the University of Cambridge.  I was studying Ernest F. “Fritz” Hollings, a Democratic state representative, lieutenant governor, governor, and long-serving U.S. senator for South Carolina.  I wanted to learn more about how white southern Democrats negotiated the Civil Rights Movement, away from the Dixiecrats and those who left the party once Democrats at a national level became vocal supporters of civil rights legislation.  Hollings had made a name for himself in 1963 by calling for the peaceful desegregation of Clemson College (now University) in his farewell address as South Carolina’s governor, rhetoric that contrasted with Alabama Governor George Wallace’s simultaneous pledge to preserve “segregation forever”.  Hollings’s papers had recently opened for researchers at the South Carolina Political Collections (800 linear feet of boxes), and while Hollings had published a memoir in 2008, nobody had examined his career in depth.

Fritz Hollings makes a stop on his tour of South Carolina's poorest areas.

Senator Ernest F. Hollings makes a stop on his tour of South Carolina’s poorest areas.

There followed numerous research trips, mainly to the Hollings Library at the University of South Carolina; first for a month in early 2011, then from August 2011 to May 2012, and several shorter visits after that to round out my research.  Moving to Columbia, many things were initially unfamiliar, from simple things like the layout of groceries stores, to the rules of college football and the correct uses of “y’all.” 

Throughout my research time, staff members at the Hollings Library (along with those at the Caroliniana and countless university staff) were remarkably helpful.  They offered suggestions on finding interesting materials in the Hollings papers and other collections, suggested potential oral history narrators, and even gave advice on the better places to explore southern cooking (more prominent in the UK now, but still unusual to find).  Unsurprisingly, I really enjoyed my time in South Carolina!  (That I met my now-wife at USC and made fast friends with several keen triathletes and the choir at the Church of the Good Shepherd didn’t hurt either.)

Hollings, LBJ and Westmoreland

Senator Hollings confers with President Lyndon Johnson and General William Westmoreland.

I defended my PhD in December 2013.  After some revisions, I signed a publishing contract with the University of South Carolina Press.  By November 2016, the book hit the shelves. What changed in the meantime?  First, I conducted some additional research on Hollings’s early life and Senate tenure, achieved by visiting the Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon presidential libraries, and contacting those who know far more about 1920s residential patterns in Charleston than I do.   I also gave more context on how South Carolina and the South changed socially, demographically, and economically from the 1940s to the 1980s.  Further, I offered broader reflections on Hollings’s legacy, particularly relating to the on-going challenges facing the state and region, such as persistent racially polarised voting patterns, the partial but incomplete closing of the per capita income gap between the state and the national average, and the state’s loss of manufacturing industries.  With the help of Hollings Library staff, Bill Barley, and the U.S. Senate Historical Office, there are now several photographs as well.  The result should be (I hope!) a much better read.

I.D. Newman and Hollings

I.D. Newman accompanies Senator Hollings on his 1968 “Hunger Tour” of Columbia, South Carolina

Why should you, the reader, care about Hollings?  Throughout his career, he gained a reputation as an acid-tongued politician with a willingness to voice what he perceived as hard truths, as with his call to desegregate Clemson in 1963, or his testimony in 1969 that hunger and malnutrition were prevalent in South Carolina (unusual behaviour for a politician who usually touted the state’s economic promise to potential investors).  His career bridged the old, white supremacist southern Democratic Party and the contemporary, more racially inclusive one.  He was centrally important in moving South Carolinian and southern Democrats away from openly endorsing racial segregation, while his accommodations with black South Carolinians demonstrated the fluidity of southern politics in the 1960s and the tangible, but incomplete, gains African Americans won during the Civil Rights era. 

hollings & thurmond

Senator Hollings with Senator Strom Thurmond in 1969

In the late 1960s, Hollings became a key supporter of domestic anti-hunger programs (anybody who has seen ‘WIC’ on food items in grocery stores will have noticed his influence on anti-hunger policy), and by the 1970s was a prime mover in crafting environmental legislation.  He represented the moderate end of the electable southern political spectrum, while his career offered a blueprint for success for white Democrats in the post-civil rights South.  Re-elected to office with relative ease (except for two close elections in 1992 and 1998), by the time he left office in 2005, Hollings had held a Senate seat for thirty-eight years as a Democrat, in a state that had become consistently Republican at the presidential and state levels.  All told in six snappy chapters and an epilogue, if the upheaval of American (especially southern) politics and society since the 1950s interests you, you should like it! 

Finally, for those thinking of researching modern political history at the South Carolina Political Collections, I strongly endorse it.  The wealth of little-used (or unused) archival materials and the knowledgeable and helpful staff make a trip well worthwhile.

ballantyne_coverDavid Ballantyne is a lecturer in American History at Keele University in the United Kingdom.  He published his first book, New Politics in the Old South: Ernest F. Hollings in the Civil Rights Era, with the University of South Carolina Press in 2016. 

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Collection Highlight: The Photographs of William D. Workman, Jr.

SCPC recently applied for a grant to digitize the photographs in the William D. Workman, Jr. Papers. We are excited about the possibility of being able to improve access to these fascinating images and wanted to highlight a few of them on the blog.

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.


Cromwell Alley slum

Tenants and a “rent instalment man” on the porches of a building in Cromwell Alley, 1938.

Tenants and a “rent instalment man” on the porches of a building in Cromwell Alley, 1938.

In about 1938, a slum in Charleston’s Cromwell Alley was cleared to make way for a federally funded low-income housing project. The slum tenants were African American, while the housing project would be occupied by whites. Workman’s images of the slum illustrate a number of themes, including the institutional racism then common across the South, severe urban poverty during the Great Depression, and the role of the federal government in urban development.


Mullins Tobacco Festival

“Kneeling, Gov. Strom Thurmond, standing back of him in a dark suit, Marcus A. Stone [unsuccessful candidate for governor (1946) and US Senate (1948)]; at right – dark suit – Sen. Burnet R. Maybank.” Child seated on tobacco is William Charles Harrington, grandson of tobacco barn owner W. P. Clark. August 1947.

“Kneeling, Gov. Strom Thurmond, standing back of him in a dark suit, Marcus A. Stone [unsuccessful candidate for US Senate (1948)]; at right – dark suit – Sen. Burnet R. Maybank.” Child seated on tobacco is William Charles Harrington, grandson of tobacco barn owner W. P. Clark. August 1947.

The City of Mullins was once home to South Carolina’s largest tobacco market. The above image was taken during the Mullins Tobacco Festival. It illustrates the importance of agriculture to many rural communities in the post-World War II period, as well as the way in which politicians interacted with potential voters.


The Dixiecrat movement

Former Alabama Lieutenant Governor Handy Ellis speaks at a States’ Rights Rally in Birmingham, July 17, 1948.

Former Alabama Lieutenant Governor Handy Ellis speaks at a States’ Rights Rally in Birmingham, July 17, 1948.

Following World War II, South Carolina remained a solidly Democratic state, and its African American residents continued to be effectively disenfranchised and treated as second-class citizens. In 1948, the national Democratic Party’s support of civil rights for African Americans led a number of white southerners to support the short-lived States’ Rights Democratic Party (Dixiecrats). This party was an early sign of the splintering that ultimately led to the rise of the Republican Party and the development of two-party systems in southern states previously controlled by Democrats.


Savannah River Plant construction

A woman and a man talk in a mobile home park near the Savannah River Plant site, c. 1951.

A woman and a man talk in a mobile home park near the Savannah River Plant site, c. 1951.

Plans for the Savannah River Plant (SRP), a facility for manufacturing weapons-grade nuclear material, were publicly announced in November 1950. A large number of workers were needed to build the plant, but little housing was available near the rural site. This led to a growth in mobile home parks as a housing solution for some construction workers and their families. Workman’s images of the construction workers’ housing, early SRP buildings, and the communities that were evacuated to make way for the plant illustrate the Cold War’s impact on American civilians.

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Labor of Love


Reverend Marvin Lare at St Paul’s United Methodist Church in Los Angeles, 1980. He was pastor there from 1961-1965.

For over a decade, the Libraries have supported a project by Marvin Lare to document the Civil Rights movement in South Carolina through oral history.  This month, USC Press will publish the first volume in this epic work, envisioned as five volumes telling South Carolina’s story, chiefly in the words of leaders and soldiers in the movement. It is titled, Champions of Civil and Human Rights in South Carolina, Volume 1: Dawn of the Movement Era, 1955-1967.

Editor Lare is a retired Methodist minister and a veteran administrator of public service projects for the South Carolina Department of Social Services and Community Care, Inc.  From the time of his early ministry in the inner city of Los Angeles, he participated in many civil rights demonstrations, including the Selma to Montgomery march.

Marvin Lare

Marvin Lare

Lare interviewed more than one hundred civil rights activists in South Carolina.  Volume 1 will be published Dec. 15 and consists of some 464 pages with 59 black and white illustrations.  Orders submitted before December 15 receive a 15% discount.  Contact the USC Press at 718 Devine Street, Columbia, SC 29208, 800-768-2500, Fax 800-868-0740.

It has been an honor to be associated with this important project.

Herb Hartsook




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2016 “Christmas on the Potomac” Exhibit

christmas swagOur 2016 “Christmas on the Potomac” exhibit is installed and ready for visitors!

We have embellished this annual card exhibit with the same ornaments for a good number of years, so this year we went on a shopping spree and bought new decorations.  Animals?  We got ’em.  Toys? Accounted for.  Wreaths of jingle bells? Yep.  Santa?  He’s there, too!

Come by and see our three-case display at the front of Thomas Cooper Library and get in the Spirit! The exhibit is open through January 5, 2017.


The display cases

A large card from President Bill and Hillary Clinton

A large card from President Bill and Hillary Clinton


Christmas pups check out the cards featuring dogs.

Christmas pups check out the cards featuring dogs.

Case 3 includes some Thanksgiving cards sent annually by Senator Fritz and Peatsy Hollings.

Case 3 includes some Thanksgiving cards sent annually by Senator Fritz and Peatsy Hollings.


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Thomas Cooper Library Recognized in “Best of” List

Thomas Cooper Library

Thomas Cooper Library
(from the article)

Everyone likes “Top Ten” and “Best of” lists, particularly if you make the list.  Readers Digest recently published its list of the Most Impressive Libraries in Every State.  Their criteria appears to be chiefly based on architectural merit with a nod to the importance of the collections. 

The libraries chosen range from the venerable to the very new.  UNC-Chapel Hill’s Wilson Library opened in 1929 while University of Georgia’s Richard B. Russell Library opened in 2012. 

Edward Durrell Stone

Illustrious architect Edward Durrell Stone in 1958

Representing South Carolina—our own Thomas Cooper Library.  Designed by famed architect Edward Durell Stone and the firm Lyles, Bisset, Carlisle & Wolff, what was then called the Undergraduate Library opened in 1959 and supplemented the existing McKissick Library with some 40,000 sq. ft. of additional space.  Well regarded from the time of its construction, in 1963 the Undergraduate Library was recognized with a First Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects

Eventually, it was decided to concentrate library collections and services in an expanded Undergraduate Library and, in 1976, the newly renamed Thomas Cooper Library opened with four new floors added underground to provide a total of nearly  290,000 sq. ft. of library space.  The pool we all admire was added at the front of the Library at the same time.

The excavated site of the future Thomas Cooper Library

The excavated site of the future Thomas Cooper Library

How is Thomas Cooper faring today?  Libraries the world around are facing a sea change as we deal with the growth of electronic resources which can be accessed anywhere at any time.  This would seem to diminish the need for physical libraries, but student use of Thomas Cooper has actually doubled in recent years.  The addition of Hollings Library at the rear of Cooper may be the most dramatic change in recent times, but change and the evolution of University Libraries, its resources, and staff, is constant as we strive to meet the demands of our faculty and students. 

Hollings Library

The Hollings Special Collections Library, located behind Thomas Cooper

I was pleased to see Readers Digest select the University of Michigan’s Law Library to represent Michigan.  The classic old building received a major renovation since I graduated.  Like Cooper, they too added underground space to preserve the original old building while adding a significant addition that has received rave reviews. 

By Herb Hartsook

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Invaluable Help from MIRC

Marine Corps

Marine Corps film still

USC Libraries has four special collections units, each with significant reputations.  The newest of these treasures is our Moving Image Research Collections (MIRC).  MIRC is in the news this month because of its receipt of the United States Marine Corps Film Repository.  You may have heard USC has initiated a $25,000 project to digitize all footage from Parris Island, S.C., and is seeking contributions.

The Marine Corps archive joins MIRC’s internationally important, ever-growing collection, which is anchored by Fox Movietone News.  More important for SCPC’s purposes, MIRC oversees the WIS Newsfilm collection, which contains any number of pieces relating to SCPC donors.  MIRC staff are always helpful in locating films we need and also provides invaluable assistance in reformatting some of our own films, such as the 1960 clip showing then-governor Fritz Hollings and presidential candidate John F. Kennedy speaking from the State House steps.

JFK microphones

The microphone holders used for the 1960 Kennedy campaign speech and donated by Jim Covington

That clip was filmed by journalist and friend to the Libraries Jim Covington.  When we played it on the big screen in the Hollings Library Program Room a while back, Jim brought and donated the microphones he used on that occasion.  The mics were the state-of-the-art in 1960 and very distinctive.

Recently, Jim suggested that the WIS collection should include footage he shot sixty years ago of Hollings being sworn in as a US Senator.  Since Hollings was elected in a special election to complete the unexpired term of Olin Johnston, who had died in office the previous year, this took place in November of 1966.  This gave Hollings a boost in seniority over the regularly elected new senators who were sworn in on January 1.


Senator Ernest “Fritz” Hollings in 1969

Most archivists love the challenge of a good puzzle and Amy Ciesielski Meaney took on the daunting task of locating the film.  Not all of the WIS film is clearly identified; in fact, some is not labelled at all.  After much searching, Amy found a film labeled only Nov. 9-16, 1966.  In reviewing the film, she saw Hollings, but the clip did not have sound and she could only hope that it was the swearing in, a rather informal affair in the office of the Secretary of the Senate.  Amy emailed some frames from the film and it looked right.  I asked graduate assistant Mary Clare Johnson to look in the Hollings collection news clippings to see if she could find any showing the ceremony.  Within a half hour Mary Clare brought a clipping with a photo identical to one of the stills: “Hollings signs Senate payroll.”

It’s wonderful when things work out.  We hope soon to provide a link to the film so everyone can see it and to celebrate the 60th anniversary of this occasion.  I only wish I had started this ball rolling in time to share the clip on the actual day of the event, November 9th.

By Herb Hartsook

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Election Night Watch Party Recap

The Election Night Watch Party this past Tuesday cohosted by SCPC and Student Government in the Russell House was a great success! Around 200 people attended, most staying until the event officially ended at 9pm, though we kept the televisions on and the room open until 11pm. Viewers were treated to free food and tea while watching results roll in on CNN and MSNBC.

SCPC's elections display at the Russell House Ballroom on Election Night.

SCPC’s display at the Russell House Ballroom on Election Night

A number of people came by to check out SCPC’s political cartoons and artifacts, and we got a few questions about the items and the department. One student remarked that they didn’t know Hollings was public space but will now probably visit after talking to us. Hunter Harley, the organizer of the event from Student Government, made brief remarks around 7:00pm encouraging people to come to our table, followed by remarks from the Carolina Creed Office.

If you’re still feeling in the “election mood”, the library has two exhibits up documenting election history using items from our collection. Presidential Elections: Eisenhower through Obama is on display at the front of Thomas Cooper through November, and Election Day in South Carolina is on display in Hollings library through the end of December.

There is also still a vintage Votamatic voting machine in Hollings where visitors can now vote on their favorite DOG BREED!

By Zach Johnson

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