Dennis, Rembert C. (1989, 1990)
Rembert Dennis (D-Berkeley County) served more than forty years in the S.C. House and Senate between 1939 and 1988.
This 1975 interview emphasizes Dennis' public policy views, the impact of the 1974 elections and Charles "Pug" Ravenel's gubernatorial campaign, and his views of legislative service. He describes his strong support for state assumption of primary and secondary school funding and elaborates on how he would provide that funding. He also discusses why the Senate seniority system traditionally has been misinterpreted and predicts that new rule changes in the system will encourage participation by more of the body's younger members.
This interview was held over a series of twenty dates from 1989 to 1990. The 218-page transcript is divided into chapters in which Dennis describes his family history, formative years, personal life, and public career. He speaks about his relationships with S.C. politicians and his views about the state political scene, and how events such as the Vietnam War, the civil rights movement, and Watergate influenced his beliefs. An enthusiastic hunter and outdoorsman, Dennis discusses his passion for these activities and his interest in wildlife-focused legislation. A large portion of the interview is devoted to exploring his long legislative career; his campaigns, which were often uncontested; the work he completed for Berkeley County; his involvement as Chair of the Finance Committee; his personal interests; recognition and awards; and his reluctant decision to retire in 1988 following a series of health-related problems. Dennis briefly discusses his law career, which lasted nearly as long as his political career, and his opinions about integration and race relations.
Pope, Thomas Harrington, Jr. (1995)
In this 1995 interview, Thomas H. Pope discusses his education at The Citadel and University of South Carolina School of Law in the 1930s. He also comments on political campaigns and his service in the South Carolina House of Representatives, 1937-1940, and 1946-1950, and as Chairman of the state Democratic Party, 1958-1960.
Riley, Edward P. "Ted" (1986-1987, 1989-1991)
Ted Riley, an assistant United States attorney (1933-1952), was also known for his long-time involvement with the Democratic Party. He chaired the Greenville County Democratic Party Executive Committee, 1954-1955, and the South Carolina Democratic Party for two terms, 1960-1964. In this extensive interview, recorded over a period of six years from 1986-1991, Riley reflects on many aspects of his involvement in South Carolina politics.
An attorney for the Greenville County School Board, he discusses his involvement with the school integration lawsuits and his respect for fellow attorney, the Honorable Matthew Perry.
Riley established relationships with many South Carolina politicians active in the 1950s, such as James Byrnes, Sol Blatt, Edgar Brown, and Strom Thurmond. He shares anecdotes about their personal, professional, and political careers. He also discusses his role in the 1960 John F. Kennedy presidential campaign in South Carolina.
Riley was the father of former governor Richard W. "Dick" Riley and retired from the U.S. attorney's office to work on his son's gubernatorial campaign. He discusses in detail Dick's youth, political foundation in the state Senate, campaign for Governor, his time in office, and his accomplishments.
Riley also explains how South Carolina politics changed over the thirty years of his involvement and offers his opinion on recent elections. He also spends some time in the beginning and in the end of the interview detailing his personal background and the history of the Riley family.