“T” is for Thurmond, James Strom (1902-2003)
“T” is for Thurmond, James Strom (1902-2003). U.S. senator, governor. A native of Edgefield, Thurmond served in the South Carolina Senate (1932-1938) until he was elected a judge. During World War II he was a member of the 82d Airborne Division and was wounded during the D-Day landing in France. He returned home and in 1946 resigned his judgeship to run for governor. He was elected and introduced a progressive agenda championing more money for education. In 1948 he was the presidential nominee of the State’s Rights Democratic Party (Dixiecrats) and campaigned on a rigidly segregationist platform. In 1954, Thurmond won a write-in election for the U.S. Senate and was subsequently re-elected eight times. In 1964, he switched parties and became a Republican. From 1994-2001, James Strom Thurmond served as president pro-tempore of the Senate.