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"D" is for Dixiecrats

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio
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"D" is for Dixiecrats. Dixiecrats were a political party organized in 1948 by disgruntled white Southern Democrats dismayed over their declining influence within the national Democratic Party. The Dixiecrats, officially known as the States' Rights Democratic Party, were committed to states' rights and opposed to federal intervention in the interest of promoting civil rights. Governor J. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina and Governor Fielding Wright of Mississippi were nominated as the party's presidential and vice-presidential candidates. In the general election the party received one-fifth of the popular vote in the South and garnered 39 electoral votes—carrying South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Although the Dixiecrats have been dismissed by some as a failed third party, they were essential to Southern political change—breaking the solid South's historic allegiance to the national Democratic Party.

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar receivedhisA.B.degreefromDavidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.