South Carolina General Assembly
109th Session, 1991-1992

Bill 4863

Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter

                    Current Status

Introducing Body:               House
Bill Number:                    4863
Primary Sponsor:                Canty
Type of Legislation:            HR
Subject:                        McCain, Mr. James T.
Date Bill Passed both Bodies:   May 19, 1992
Computer Document Number:       NO5/8608.BD
Introduced Date:                May 19, 1992
Last History Body:              House
Last History Date:              May 19, 1992
Last History Type:              Introduced, adopted
Scope of Legislation:           Statewide
All Sponsors:                   Canty
                                G. Brown
Type of Legislation:            House Resolution


 Bill  Body    Date          Action Description              CMN
 ----  ------  ------------  ------------------------------  ---
 4863  House   May 19, 1992  Introduced, adopted

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Whereas, Mr. James T. McCain of Sumter has received the "Outstanding Older South Carolinian Award" for 1992 given by the South Carolina Commission on Aging; and

Whereas, he graduated from Lincoln High School and received a B.A. from Morris College and a M.E. from Temple University. Mr. McCain also did post-graduate work toward a doctoral degree at Temple University; and

Whereas, before his retirement, as an educator, Mr. McCain served as a teacher, high school principal, college professor, registrar, and college dean. In a nationwide classroom teacher-of-the-year contest, he was named runner-up; and

Whereas, although his major accomplishments extend far beyond his local community and his expertise is still sought at the state and national level, Mr. McCain continues to devote himself to many local organizations. He has served or currently is serving on the following boards: L. Arthur O'Neal Foundation; Sumter Area Boys Club of the Salvation Army; Sumter County Council on Aging/Santee Senior Services (charter member and continuous benefactor); Sumter Wateree Rural Transit Authority; Sumter City-County Planning Commission; Wateree Community Action Agency; Board of Trustees and Budget Director of Mt. Zion Baptist Church; first president and founding member of the Sumter Branch of the NAACP; and Sumter Black Political Caucus; and

Whereas, his many honors include: Sumter Sports Hall of Fame; Morris College Hall of Fame; special honors from Temple University; Wateree Headstart Volunteer 1962-1975; and Transportation Association of South Carolina Achievement Award; and

Whereas, in 1975 Mr. McCain was inducted into the South Carolinian Society. He has contributed hundreds of original manuscripts of the civil rights movement covering the period of 1957-1971 to the South Caroliniana Library. He is also the coauthor of the book Political Strength: How to Get It: A Guide to Effective Community Action; and

Whereas, it has been said that history will record the courageous accomplishments of Mr. McCain during the formative and stormy years of the civil rights movement. He has been remembered as a voice of calm and reason, a negotiator, and a peacemaker who commanded the respect of both races during this turbulent time; and

Whereas, in 1955 when he had been barred from teaching because of his affiliation with the NAACP, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) recruited him as their field secretary. He was the focal point of CORE's move into national prominence, and his work for the organization helped it gain national stature. He moved the organization into the deep South with the mission to "eliminate discrimination on all levels"; and

Whereas, Mr. McCain was a leader in the sit-ins and freedom rides of the 1960's. As field secretary and later director of the organization, he was in charge of many idealistic volunteers, both black and white. Three youthful followers paid for their ideals with their life, an incident that affected him profoundly. These three young college students were James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner who were murdered in Philadelphia, Mississippi; and

Whereas, shortly after CORE changed its biracial, nonviolent, direct action thrust in 1965, he left the organization and became Director of the Scholarship, Education, Defense Fund for Racial Equality with the primary goal to elevate the economic and political status of African-Americans; and

Whereas, Mr. McCain was instrumental in the filing and resolution of two landmark lawsuits: in 1945, Thomas vs. Gibbs, to gain equalization of teacher salaries for blacks and whites; and in 1949, Baskins vs. Brown, the South Carolina Primary Voting suit; and

Whereas, his state affiliations include: South Carolina Council on Human Relations; South Carolina Economic Opportunity Board; Palmetto Education Association; and Governor's Council on Human Affairs in South Carolina; and

Whereas, Mr. McCain was selected by Southern Bell for inclusion in their 1991 calendar of African-American Role Models. As noted in his nomination for outstanding older South Carolinians: "During the most active years of the civil rights movement, when some leaders chose flamboyant, high-profile personas, Mr. McCain led with an elegant, modest dignity, applying reason and persuasion to accomplish his mission. Although his name may not be as well known, because of his quiet, unassuming demeanor, to those who have followed the movement, both black and white, he commands infinite respect. Young activists today are influenced by his achievements, and he serves as a role model to those who would continue his quest for human rights and political and economic equity. By his own statement, he admonishes young people to `aspire for excellence and to stop wasting so much time on unessential things'. He has discouraged would-be biographers, but his leadership and achievements have not gone unnoticed. Historians will mark his place in the history of this period, and future generations will study his remarkable courage and leadership"; and

Whereas, James T. McCain's accomplishments and contributions to his native Sumter, to South Carolina, and to the Nation span many decades, and he actively continues his lifelong service to his community and state. Now, therefore,

Be it resolved by the House of Representatives:

That the members of the House of Representatives recognize Mr. James T. McCain of Sumter upon receiving the "Outstanding Older South Carolinian Award" for 1992 by the South Carolina Commission on Aging.

Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to Mr. McCain.