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SCPC > Collections - Johnston, Olin Dewitt Talmadge (1896-1965)

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Johnston, Olin Dewitt Talmadge (1896-1965)

Papers, 1914-1965, 182 ft.

Olin D. Johnston served South Carolina as a U. S. Senator from 1945 until his death in 1965. At that time he was ninth in seniority in the Senate, and renowned as a champion of the common man. Prior to his election to the Senate, Johnston served two terms as Governor, 1935-1939 and 1943-1945, and in the state House of Representatives, 1923-1924 (Anderson County), 1927-1930 (Spartanburg County). Through his long career in public service, Johnston was the friend and advocate of the farmer and laborer.

Collection Finding Aid (pdf, 78 pages)
The collection chiefly documents Johnston's U.S. Senate service, 1945-1965, particularly his work on the Post Office and Civil Service Committee and the Judiciary Committee, as well as the interests and concerns of his constituents across South Carolina. There is also a small amount of material regarding Johnston's years as Governor of South Carolina, 1935-1939 and 1943-1944. Extensive files document the importance of agriculture and the textile industry in South Carolina; the effort, 1962 to 1963, to erect a dam at Trotters Shoals, led by Johnston, with Georgia Senator Richard Russell; and the Democratic Party.

Digitized Film from the Johnston Papers available on the MIRC website (Television spots, including one with the Citizens Council Forum)

Related Collections:

Gubernatorial Records (S.C. Department of Archives & History)

Patterson, Elizabeth J. (daughter)

Related Oral History:

Oral History Transcript, Liz Patterson (pdf, 28 pages)

Johnston's daughter Elizabeth J. Patterson discusses her early life as a Senator's daughter and especially aspects of her father's career and personality.

Oral History Transcript, Sallie Scott (pdf, 45 pages)
Mrs. Sallie Scott, the elder daughter of Olin D. and Gladys Atkinson Johnston, recounts her recollections of life in the Governor’s Mansion and in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C., her father’s political campaigns, and her mother’s active role in Johnston’s campaigns and career in government.

Oral History Transcript, Thomas Chadwick (pdf, 53 pages)
Thomas W. Chadwick (1923-2011) served U.S. Senator Olin D. Johnston as Press Secretary, Legislative Assistant, and Campaign Manager between 1955 and the Senator’s death in 1965.  In this interview, he reflects upon his education at the U.S.C. School of Journalism, his years as a reporter for The State, work as a Senate staffer, and roles in the presidential campaigns of Adlai Stevenson, 1952 and 1956, John F. Kennedy, 1960, Lyndon Baines Johnson, 1964, and Hubert Humphrey, 1968. 

Also in this interview, Chadwick describes the leadership which Johnston provided in the office, his concern for the common man and liberal economic stance, and the campaigns in which Chadwick figured.  He also discusses  the roles played in the office by other key staff members such as Robert L. Alexander, Hyram W. “Bill” Brawley, Andrew M. Faucette (1895-1961), and Baxter Funderburke, as well as Johnston’s brother William C. Johnston and the Senator’s wife, Gladys, and talks of close associates Senator Frank Carlson (R-KS), J.C. Long, Robert Hemphill, and others.

Related Links:

Congressional Biographical Directory

S.C. Governors (at “SCIway”)