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Burnet R. Maybank
| United States Senator |
from South Carolina
November 5, 1941 –September 1, 1954
|Preceded by||Roger C. Peace|
|Succeeded by||Charles E. Daniel|
|Chairman of the Committee on Banking and Currency|
January 3,1949 –January 3,1953
|Preceded by||Charles W. Tobey|
|Succeeded by||Homer Capehart|
|Co-Chairman of the Joint Committee on Defense Production|
September 8,1950 – January 3,1953
Alongside Brent Spence
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Succeeded by||Homer Capehart|
|99th Governor of South Carolina|
January 17,1939 –November 4,1941
|Lieutenant||Joseph Emile Harley|
|Preceded by||Olin D. Johnston|
|Succeeded by||Joseph Emile Harley|
|54th Mayor of Charleston|
December 14,1931 –December 27,1938
|Preceded by||Thomas Porcher Stoney|
|Succeeded by||Henry Whilden Lockwood|
Burnet Rhett Maybank
|Died||September 1,1954 55) (aged|
Flat Rock,North Carolina
|Children||Burnet Rhett Maybank Jr. among others|
|Alma mater||College of Charleston|
|Branch/service||United States Navy|
|Battles/wars||World War I|
Burnet Rhett Maybank (March 7,1899 –September 1,1954) was a three-term US senator,the 99th governor of South Carolina,and mayor of Charleston,South Carolina. He was the first governor from Charleston since the American Civil War (1861-1865) and one of only twenty people in United States history to have been elected mayor,governor,and United States senator. During his tenure in the Senate,Maybank was a powerful ally of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. His unexpected death on September 1,1954,from a heart attack,led to Strom Thurmond being elected senator.
Maybank was born in Charleston,South Carolina,into one of the city's most prominent and wealthy families. He was the direct descendant of five former South Carolina governors:Thomas Smith,Rawlins Lowndes,Robert Gibbes,James Moore and William Aiken,Jr. Additionally,he was related to U.S. Senator Robert Barnwell Rhett. Maybank graduated from the Porter Military Academy (now known as Porter-Gaud) and went on to earn a degree from the College of Charleston. He served in the United States Navy during World War I.
Burnet Maybank was born to Dr. Joseph Maybank VI and Harriet Lowndes Rhett,the first of ten. He married Elizabeth deRosset Myers on June 28,1923. They had three children. After the death of his first wife Maybank married Mary Roscoe Randolph Pelzer Cecil. The second marriage produced no children. His son,Burnet R. Maybank Jr.,went on to become lieutenant governor of South Carolina,a legislator in the General Assembly,and candidate for governor.
Prior to becoming interested in politics and public service,Maybank had established himself in the cotton export business from 1920 to 1938. A lifelong Democrat,Maybank entered politics for the first time in 1927,when he was elected to a four-year term as alderman in Charleston. He rose to mayor pro tempore in 1930 and was then elected mayor of Charleston in 1931,serving until 1938. As mayor,Maybank balanced the budget during the Great Depression. He refused an increase of his own salary to $6,000 from $3,600,and reduced local taxes. Maybank took advantage of federal financing under President Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration for slum clearance,construction of public housing and other infrastructure,and support for unemployment payments. He also used a Works Progress Administration (WPA) grant to restore the historic Dock Street Theatre,and other grants went to such infrastructure improvements as the city docks and a city incinerator.
During this period Maybank was also appointed as a member of the State Board of Bank Control (1932–1933) and was chairman of the South Carolina Public Service Authority (1935–1939).It supervised a state-sponsored power project on the Santee River. This project,known as the "little TVA",was built to control floods as well as provide hydroelectric power for the state. Maybank was a conservative supporter of President Roosevelt's New Deal,which funded public works and job programs. But he opposed a share of the president's labor policies. In addition,he was appointed by the governor as a member of the South Carolina State Advisory Board of the federal Public Works Administration from 1933 to 1934.
With the favorable publicity from the Santee project,a strong political base in Charleston,and support from his mentor,U.S. Senator James F. Byrnes,Maybank was elected as governor in 1938.As governor,Maybank tried unsuccessfully to create an adequate state police force,but he did supervise a vigorous prosecution of the criminal element in the state. He strictly enforced liquor and gambling statutes. Maybank personally interceded to prevent to destruction of a high wall around the historic jail in Charleston when it became threatened by a housing project expansion.
He fought the Ku Klux Klan,which had reached its peak of revival in the 1920s but was still active. Maybank expanded economic opportunities for black people in the racially segregated society and tried to improve the quality of black schools in the state,which were historically underfunded. He did nothing to alter the disfranchisement of blacks due to provisions in the state constitution and electoral laws since the turn of the twentieth century.
In January 1941 President Roosevelt appointed Byrnes to the U.S. Supreme Court. Maybank won a special election to fill Byrnes's US Senate seat in September 1941,defeating former governor Olin D. Johnston with 56.6 percent of the vote.In 1942 Maybank was elected to the full six-year term,and in 1948 he was reelected without opposition,and served until his death in 1954.
Maybank was a powerful senator,part of the southern Democratic block. Maybank served as chairman of the Committee on Banking and Currency and as co-chairman of the Joint Committee on Defense Production. As chair of the Subcommittee on Independent Offices,under the Appropriations Committee,Maybank provided critical support to continue the U.S. nuclear weapons program in the early 1950s.He introduced the "Maybank Amendment",which was tacked onto the 1953 Defense Appropriations Bill. The amendment relieved the Department of Defense from federal legislation to target a percentage of its expenditures to high unemployment areas. Shortly before his death,Maybank was voted as one of the "20 Most Influential Americans" by Fortune magazine.
Maybank died of a heart attack at his summer home in Flat Rock,North Carolina in 1954.He was interred in Magnolia Cemetery in Charleston. Several dignitaries attended including then-Governor James F. Byrnes,Strom Thurmond,Ernest F. Hollings,thirteen United States senators,congressmen,and state and local officials. Maybank's sudden death two months before election day threw open the 1954 Senate election in South Carolina. Strom Thurmond won as a write-in candidate against the nominee chosen by Democratic party leaders to replace Maybank.
Following Maybank's death,numerous places throughout the state were named in his honor including Maybank Highway,the Burnet Maybank Bridge,and the Maybank Hall at the College of Charleston.
Bertie Bowman,who became a hearing coordinator for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee,published his memoir,Step by Step:A Memoir of Hope,Friendship,Perseverance,and Living the American Dream,in 2009. He noted the personal support he had received from Senator Maybank. A poor black farmer's son,he went to Washington from South Carolina in 1944 as a runaway at age 14 and went to Senator Maybank. He got the youth a janitor's position,and took a personal interest in Bowman (who then had no family in Washington). Gradually the young black man advanced while working for the Senate,as he describes in his memoir. In March 2009 Senator Maybank's granddaughter,Elizabeth Parker,traveled to D.C. to meet with Bowman for the first time. A month later,more of the Maybank family met Bowman and his wife,Elaine,in Charleston.
Vice President Joe Biden mentioned Maybank at the dedication ceremony for the Ernest Hollings Special Collections Library at the University of South Carolina on July 23,2010. He said,
You know,an old governor of yours,Burnet Maybank,once wrote an essay entitled,"Who Is the South Carolinian?" And here's what it said. He said,there's a deal—there is a deal of kindness about him,describing the South Carolinian. He feels favored when asked for personal assistance. A neighborly spirit prompts him to render service with a scorn for remuneration.
James Strom Thurmond Sr. was an American politician who represented South Carolina in the United States Senate from 1954 to 2003. Prior to his 48 years as a senator, he served as the 103rd governor of South Carolina from 1947 to 1951. Thurmond was a member of the Democratic Party until 1964, when he joined the Republican Party for the remainder of his legislative career. He also ran for president in 1948 as the Dixiecrat candidate, receiving over a million votes and winning four states.
James Francis Byrnes was an American judge and politician from South Carolina. A member of the Democratic Party, he served in U.S. Congress and on the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as in the executive branch, most prominently as the 49th U.S. Secretary of State under President Harry S. Truman. Byrnes was also the 104th Governor of South Carolina, making him one of the very few politicians to have served in the highest levels of all three branches of the American federal government while also being active in state government.
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William Douglas Workman Jr., was a journalist, author, and a pioneer in the development of the 20th century South Carolina Republican Party. He carried his party's banner as a candidate for the United States Senate in 1962 and for the governorship in 1982. He lost to Democratic Party candidates Olin D. Johnston and Richard Riley, respectively.
Olin DeWitt Talmadge Johnston was an American politician from the US state of South Carolina. He served as the 98th governor of South Carolina, 1935–1939 and 1943–1945, and represented the state in the United States Senate from 1945 until his death from pneumonia in Columbia, South Carolina in 1965. He has become infamous for denying clemency to George Stinney, a 14 year-old African-American boy who was sentenced to death in 1944 after a trial that lasted for one single day, a conviction overturned 70 years later.
The 1938 South Carolina gubernatorial election was held on November 8, 1938 to select the governor of the state of South Carolina. Burnet Rhett Maybank, Mayor of Charleston, South Carolina, won the contested Democratic primary and defeated Republican Joseph Augustis Tolbert in the general election becoming the 99th governor of South Carolina.
The 1954 South Carolina United States Senate election was held on November 2, 1954 to select the next U.S. senator from the state of South Carolina. Senator Burnet R. Maybank did not face a primary challenge in the summer and was therefore renominated as the Democratic Party's nominee for the election in the fall. However, his death on September 1 left the Democratic Party without a nominee and the executive committee decided to nominate state Senator Edgar A. Brown as their candidate for the election. Many South Carolinians were outraged by the party's decision to forgo a primary election and former Governor Strom Thurmond entered the race as a write-in candidate. He easily won the election and became the first U.S. senator to be elected by a write-in vote in an election where other candidates had ballot access. A Senate election where the victor won by a write-in campaign would not happen again until 2010.
Edgar Allan Brown was a long time Democratic legislator of South Carolina from Barnwell County who served South Carolina from 1922-1972. He was a principal member of the so-called "Barnwell Ring".
The 1996 South Carolina United States Senate election was held on November 5, 1996 to select the U.S. Senator from the state of South Carolina. Popular incumbent Republican Senator Strom Thurmond, won re-election against Democratic challenger Elliott Springs Close. The margin, however, was one of the closest in Thurmond’s 48-year senate career. At the age of 93 years, 11 months and 3 days, Thurmond became the oldest person ever to be elected in the Senate election. He eventually served out his full term, his last, and left the senate on January 3, 2003 at age 100.
The 2002 United States Senate election in South Carolina was held on November 5, 2002. Longtime Republican incumbent Strom Thurmond decided to retire at the age of 100, becoming the first centenarian to ever serve in Congress. At that time, Thurmond was the longest serving Senator in U.S. history, but his record was later surpassed by West Virginia's Robert Byrd.
The 1956 South Carolina United States Senate special election was held on November 6, 1956 to select the U.S. Senator from the state of South Carolina simultaneously with the regular Senate election. The election resulted from the resignation of Senator Strom Thurmond on April 4, 1956, who was keeping a campaign pledge he had made in the 1954 election. Thurmond was unopposed in his bid to complete the remaining four years of the term.
The 1984 South Carolina United States Senate election was held on November 6, 1984 to select the U.S. Senator from the state of South Carolina. Popular incumbent Republican Senator Strom Thurmond cruised to re-election against Democratic challenger Melvin Purvis.
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The 1942 South Carolina United States Senate election was held on November 3, 1942 to select the U.S. Senator from the state of South Carolina. Incumbent Democratic Senator Burnet R. Maybank defeated Eugene S. Blease in the Democratic primary and was unopposed in the general election to win a six-year term.
Magnolia Cemetery is a historic rural cemetery in Charleston, South Carolina. The first board for the cemetery was assembled in 1849 with Edward C. Jones as the architect. It was dedicated in 1850; Charles Fraser delivered the dedication address. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a Historic District in 1978.
Paul Reynolds Thurmond is an American politician from the state of South Carolina. A member of the Republican Party, Thurmond is a former member of the South Carolina Senate. He is the youngest child of Strom Thurmond, who served in the United States Senate for 48 years.
Burnet Rhett Maybank Jr. was an American lawyer and politician in the state of South Carolina. He was the son of Governor of South Carolina and Senator Burnet Maybank. Maybank was educated at The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina from 1941 to 1942, and served in World War II with the United States Army Air Forces. He later attended the University of South Carolina, graduating with a LL.B. in 1950. He was also admitted to the South Carolina bar that same year and practiced law in Greenville, South Carolina and Charleston, South Carolina. Maybank served as a Democrat in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1953 to 1958. He later served as Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina under governor Fritz Hollings from 1959 to 1963.
The Cleland Kinloch and Burnet R. Maybank Huger House is a house in Charleston, South Carolina which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.