Thurmond, (James) Strom

born Dec. 5, 1902, Edgefield, S.C., U.S.
died June 26, 2003, Edgefield

U.S. politician and senator (1954–2003).

He served as a South Carolina state senator (1933–38) and circuit court judge (1938–41). As governor (1947–51), he expanded the state educational system. At the 1948 Democratic convention Thurmond led the bolt of Southern delegates who objected to the civil-rights plank in the party platform; the so-called Dixiecrats nominated Thurmond as their presidential candidate, and he won 39 electoral votes. In 1954 he was elected to the U.S. Senate, and in 1964 he switched party affiliation to the Republican Party. He became the Senate's longest-serving member in 1997. An arch conservative, he advocated states' rights, opposed civil-rights legislation, and supported increases in military spending.

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Universalium. 2010.

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