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Ernest "Fritz" Hollings | SCETV Profile (1976)

April 11, 2019 - Posted in SCETV Classics by Mimi Wortham-Brown

Produced in 1976 for the Profile series, this program begins with Senator Hollings' upbringing in Charleston, and his graduation from The Citadel in 1942.  He served in the Army in World War II, attaining the rank of captain. He then attended law school at the University of South Carolina, finishing in 1947. 

In 1948, Hollings was elected to the S.C. House. After two more terms, Hollings was chosen to argue the State's case against integration in the courts. The Court decided in May 1954 that segregation was unconstitutional. Hollings was Lieutenant Governor at that time. Four years later, he was elected Governor.

Hollings turned his attention to education, industrial development, agriculture and state credit. He reorganized the State Development Board and instituted the technical training program. He worked on secondary and higher education, and reorganized the tax commission, the insurance commission, and the state penitentiary. He worked to develop tourism and to improve senior citizens programs and mental health care. Hollings began work on the technical education program, and a committee was formed to develop the first center in Greenville. 

Hollings discusses John F. Kennedy's campaign in South Carolina and his campaign for Senate, which he lost to Olin D. Johnston. In 1966, Hollings defeated Donald Russell and was elected U.S. Senator.

After he took office, a nun introduced Hollings to the poverty that existed in various areas. After touring some of these areas, "The Case Against Hunger" was published. Legislation followed, providing nutrition programs for women, infants and children. and other programs for those in need.

Henry Tecklenburg  and Sen. Lawton Chiles of Florida reflect on Hollings' character and philosophy. Hollings speaks of his relationships with those he represents, and Hollings' wife, Peatsy, discusses their lives and their work.

This Profile was produced in 1976. Sen. Hollings served for five successive terms and retired to Isle of Palms in 2005. Ernest F. Hollings died on April 6, 2019 at the age of 97. 

 

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