Lieutenant Governor records, 1967 to 1971, are divided into General Papers, Press Releases, Schedules, and Topical Files. Lieutenant Governor Press Releases consist of releases, statements, and newsletters from West. Many summarize West's speeches to local groups or organizations. Schedules consist of West's pocket calendar from 1970 as well as typed memos of his activities for various weeks from May to December 1970. Press releases and schedules from West‘s 1970 campaign for governor can be found in Personal Papers, Campaigns.
The bulk of the correspondence, which was originally arranged by the addresses of the correspondents by county, has been incorporated into topical files. Lieutenant Governor Topical Files cover a variety of issues and endeavors undertaken by West. Issues include the regulation of alcohol, school desegregation, the gasoline tax, Communism, auto liability insurance, reapportionment, industrial growth, and pollution. South Carolina State College files provide a detailed look at an incident, generally known as the "Orangeburg Massacre," which resulted in the deaths of three black students on February 8, 1968. Included is correspondence between West and students at S.C. State. Of particular interest is a letter of April 8, 1968, from West to Congressman Bryan Dorn describing the presentation to the General Assembly of a student petition requesting an open hearing on the incident. West commented, "The racial pressures and tensions have certainly created problems which seem literally to try men's souls, as well as their wisdom. If we can resist the temptation to make mass denunciations of the many for the actions of a few and unite as citizens of good will, working together, the problems of race can be solved in our time by this generation."
The Human Rights Commission file reflects West's concern about the state of race relations in South Carolina. In his final year as Lieutenant Governor, he researched the need for a state human rights commission in South Carolina and studied as a model Kentucky‘s Human Rights Commission. He concluded that such a commission was an "essential step in the maintenance and improvement of race relations in S.C." and announced his intention to create one as governor.
Other topical files concern economic growth and development, technical education, industry, medicine, pollution, a proposed BASF plant in Beaufort, highway safety, automobile liability laws, teachers‘ pay raises, and retention of adequate tariff protection for textiles (including correspondence with Hubert Humphrey). The "Moody Report" file pertains to the 1968 report, commissioned by Governor McNair, assessing South Carolina‘s greatest areas of need, including the need to upgrade health care, improve transportation systems, and provide better educational facilities in order to attract higher quality industry.
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From the Collection: 52.5 Linear Feet
Part of the South Carolina Political Collections Repository
Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library
1322 Greene St.
University of South Carolina
Columbia SC 29208 USA