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“R” is for Richards, James Prioleau (1894-1979)

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“R” is for Richards, James Prioleau (1894-1979). Congressman, diplomat. A native of Liberty Hill, Richards was a World War I veteran. Returning home, he received his law degree from the University of South Carolina. In 1932 Richards won election to the U.S. House of Representatives from the Fifth Congressional District. He entered Congress as a New Deal Democrat and enthusiastic supporter of President Roosevelt’s domestic and foreign policies--until 1941. Richards opposed the president’s attempts to water down the Neutrality Act, but after Pearl Harbor supported the war effort. He chaired the House Foreign Affairs Committee in the 1950s, working closely with Presidents Truman and Eisenhower. In 1957, after retiring from Congress, James Prioleau Richards was named a special ambassador to the Middle East—persuading leaders of that strategic region to remain friendly to the United States.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson 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.