Strom Thurmond

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James Strom Thurmond (December 5, 1902 – June 26, 2003) was an American politician who served as the 103rd Governor of South Carolina and as a United States Senator. He also ran for the Presidency of the United States in 1948 as the segregationist States Rights Democratic Party (Dixiecrat) candidate, receiving 2.4% of the popular vote and 39 electoral votes. Thurmond later represented South Carolina in the United States Senate from 1954 to April 1956 and November 1956 to January 2003, at first as a Democrat and after 1964 as a Republican. He switched so he could support Goldwater's conservatism and because of their shared opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Act.[1]. He left office as the only senator to reach the age of 100 while still in office and as the oldest-serving and longest-serving senator in U.S. history (although he was later surpassed in the latter by Robert Byrd).[2] Thurmond holds the record for the longest serving Dean of the United States Senate in U.S. history at 14 years. He conducted the longest filibuster ever by a lone senator in opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1957, at 24 hours and 18 minutes in length, nonstop. In the 1960s, he continued to fight against civil rights legislation. Starting in the 1970s, he moderated his position on race, but continued to defend his early segregationist campaigns on the basis of states' rights in the context of Southern society at the time,[3] never fully renouncing his earlier viewpoints.[4][5] After his death it was revealed that Thurmond and a black maid, Carrie Butler, had a daughter whom Thurmond never publicly acknowledged.[6]

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