THURMOND, James Strom (1902-2003)
Senate Years of Service: 1953-1954; 1956-2003

THURMOND, JAMES STROM, a Senator from South Carolina; born in Edgefield, S.C., December 5, 1902; attended the public schools; graduated, Clemson College 1923; taught in South Carolina high schools 1923-1929; Edgefield County superintendent of education 1929-1933; studied law and was admitted to the South Carolina bar in 1930; city and county attorney 1930-1938; member, State senate 1933-1938; circuit judge 1938-1946; served in the United States Army 1942-1946, in Europe and in the Pacific, and participated in the Normandy invasion; was awarded the Purple Heart; major general, United States Army Reserve; Governor of South Carolina 1947-1951; unsuccessful States Rights candidate for President of the United States in 1948; unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination for United States Senator in 1950; practiced law in Aiken, S.C., 1951-1955; appointed as a Democrat to the United States Senate to complete the term of Charles E. Daniel, who resigned, and served from December 24, 1954, to January 3, 1955; had been previously elected as a write-in candidate in November 1954 for the term commencing January 3, 1955, and ending January 3, 1961, but due to a promise made to the voters in the 1954 election, he resigned as of April 4, 1956; again elected as a Democrat on November 6, 1956 to fill the vacancy caused by his own resignation and took the oath of office on November 7, 1956; reelected in 1960, 1966, 1972, 1978, 1984, 1990 and 1996 and served from November 7, 1956, to January 3, 2003; was not a candidate for reelection in 2002; changed from the Democratic to the Republican Party on September 16, 1964; President pro tempore of the Senate (January 5, 1981-January 5, 1987, January 4, 1995 to January 3, 2001, January 20 to June 6, 2001); President pro tempore emeritus (June 6, 2001-January 3, 2003); chair, Committee on the Judiciary (Ninety-seventh through Ninety-ninth Congresses); Committee on Armed Services (One Hundred Fourth Congresses); turned 100 years old on December 5, 2002, while still in office, the oldest person ever to serve in the U.S. Senate; awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on January 12, 1993; died in Edgefield, South Carolina on June 26, 2003; interment in Willowbrook Cemetery in Edgefield.

Clemson University
Special Collections
Clemson, SC
Papers: 1840-2003. Ca. 3,000 cubic feet. Gubernatorial, senatorial, and family papers. Gubernatorial papers,1923-1955 (bulk 1946-1951), include affidavits, appointment books, articles, biographical sketches, budgets, clippings, correspondence, daily schedule books, drafts of letters and speeches, election returns, financial records, invitations, lists, memos, minutes, notes, petitions, photographs, political advertisements, postcards, press releases, proclamations, promotional materials, reports, resolutions, routing slips, scrapbooks, speeches, statements, copies of completed surveys, telegrams, teletypes, and warrants. They are arranged into six subseries of official, personal, campaigns, scrapbooks, speeches, and additional material. Topics of interest include civil rights, railroad freight rate equalization, regional education, women in government, and Thurmond's 1948 presidential campaign as the States' Rights (Dixiecrat) Party candidate. Available on microfilm. The Strom Thurmond Collection, 1840-2003, includes senatorial and family papers arranged in the following series: administrative assistant, certificates, executive assistant, interim, legal, legislative assistant, memorabilia, military, military assistant, personal, photographs, pinks (correspondence), president pro tempore, press assistant, scrapbooks, special preparedness investigating subcommittee, state senate, Jean Crouch Thurmond, John William Thurmond, White House correspondence, speeches, subject correspondence, applications and employment, correspondence management, and volume mail. Finding aid available on-line. Additional Papers: Correspondence in Paul Quattlebaum papers, 1860-1964 (bulk 1936-1963); Floyd Drayton Johnson papers, 1939-1984 (bulk 1960-1984); Edward Lunn Young papers, 1929-1980; and James Evan Duffy papers, 1960-1973.

College of Charleston
Charleston, SC
Papers: Correspondence in Septima Clark papers, 1919-1978.

Cornell University
Labor Management Documentation
Ithaca, NY
Oral History: Discussed in National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees Moe Foner interview (1975-1981), 247 pages. Includes discussion of Charleston, SC hospital workers strike (1969). Also in Henry Nichols interviews (1975,1982), 53 pages.

Duke University
Special Collections Library
Durham, NC
Papers: Correspondence in Basil Lee Whitener papers, 1889-1968.

Gerald R. Ford Library
Ann Arbor, MI
Papers: 1974-1977. Correspondence and briefing papers. Finding aid.

Lyndon Baines Johnson Library
Austin, TX
Oral History: 22 pages.

Radcliffe College
Schlesinger Library
Cambridge, MA
Papers: In Edith Nourse Rogers papers, 1854-1961 (bulk 1881-1961).

South Carolina Historical Society
Charleston, SC
Papers: Correspondence in Thomas R. Waring papers, ca. 1850-ca. 1977; and Theodore Wilbur Thornhill papers, 1914-1978.

State Historical Society of Wisconsin
Archives Division
Madison, WI
Papers: Interview transcript in Howard K. Smith papers, 1941-1963; and correspondence in Clark R. Mollenhoff papers, 1936-1990.

University of Michigan
Bentley Historical Library
Ann Arbor, MI
Papers: Correspondence in Wilber M. Bruckner papers, 1877-1968. Finding aid.

University of South Carolina
South Caroliniana Library
Columbia, SC
Papers: Correspondence in John Kinard Aull papers, 1905-1957; Daniel Rogers McLeod papers, 1957-1983; Mattie Sue Crawford papers, 1920-1979; Frace Annette Dupre papers, 1901-1978; Wil Lou Gray papers, 1900-1976; Henry Savage papers, 1927-1985; (bulk 1933-1971); significant materials relating to Thurmond in William Jennings Bryan Dorn papers, 1912-1988; William D. Workman, Jr. papers, 1915-1985; material relating to Thurmond in Democratic Party of South Carolina records, ongoing; and cartoons in Walt Lardner papers.

University of Virginia
Alderman Library
Charlottesville, VA
Papers: Correspondence in Hugh Scott papers, 1925-1983; and M. J. Menefee papers, 1861-1982 (bulk 1914-1982).

Wayne State University
Walter P. Reuther Library
Detroit, MI
Papers: Correspondence in Ofield Dukes papers, 1964-1969.

Winthrop College Library

Rock Hill, SC
Papers: 1943-1961. 1 foot. Scrapbooks (photocopies) of newspaper clippings. Additional Papers: Correspondence in Jimmie Ernest Nunnery papers, 1958-1972; Jessie Laurence papers, 1894-1967; South Carolina Clergy Consultation Service on Problem Pregnancy records, 1970-1976; Samuel Brooks, Mendenhall papers, 1962-1977; South Carolina Association of Future Homemakers of America records, 1933-1977; and Surasky Pinck papers, 1889-1979. Finding aid.

  • Bass, Jack, and Marilyn W. Thompson. Ol' Strom: An Unauthorized Biography of Strom Thurmond. Atlanta, Ga.: Longstreet, 1998.
  • Cohodas, Nadine. Strom Thurmond & The Politics of Southern Change. Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, 1994.
  • Crespino, Joseph. Strom Thurmond's America. New York: Hill and Wang, 2012.
  • Day, John Kyle. The Southern Manifesto: Massive Resistance and the Fight to Preserve Segregation. Jackson: University of Mississippi Press, 2014.
  • Ellers, Joseph C. Strom Thurmond: The Public Man. Orangeburg, S.C.: Sandlapper Pub., 1993.
  • Frederickson, Kari. The Dixiecrat Revolt and the End of the Solid South, 1932-1968. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001.
  • Lachicotte, Alberta M. Rebel Senator: Strom Thurmond of South Carolina. New York: Devon-Adair, 1966.
  • U.S. Congress. Tributes Delivered in Congress to Strom Thurmond: To Commemorate His Service in the United States Senate, One Hundred Seventh Congress, Second Session. Washington, D.C.: GPO, 2002.