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348Type of Legislation: Concurrent Resolution CRIntroducing Body: SenateIntroduced Date: 19990119Primary Sponsor: LeathermanAll Sponsors: LeathermanDrafted Document Number: l:\council\bills\gjk\20141djc99.docDate Bill Passed both Bodies: 19990128Subject: James F. Byrnes Memorial Day; June 12, 1999; ResolutionsHistory Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved ______ ________ ______________________________________ _______ ____________ Senate 19990128 Received from House House 19990127 Introduced, adopted, returned with concurrence Senate 19990126 Adopted, sent to House Senate 19990121 Polled out of Committee: Favorable 10 SI Senate 19990119 Introduced, referred to Committee 10 SI Versions of This Bill Revised on January 21, 1999 - Word format
POLLED OUT OF COMMITTEE
January 21, 1999
S. Printed 1/21/99--S.
Read the first time January 19, 1999.
To whom was referred a Concurrent Resolution (S. 348), to remember and recognize the tremendous contribution of the late James F. Byrnes to his State , etc., respectfully
Has polled the Concurrent Resolution out majority favorable.
TO REMEMBER AND RECOGNIZE THE TREMENDOUS CONTRIBUTION OF THE LATE JAMES F. BYRNES TO HIS STATE, THE NATION, AND THE CAUSE OF WORLD PEACE AND, WITH GREAT ADMIRATION FOR HIS LIFE, WORK, AND QUIET EXAMPLE, AND WITH DEEP APPRECIATION FOR HIS LIVING LEGACY TO THE ORPHANED SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF HIS NATIVE STATE, THE JAMES F. BYRNES FOUNDATION, AND TO DECLARE JUNE 12, 1999, AS "JAMES F. BYRNES MEMORIAL DAY" IN HONOR OF THIS TRULY GOOD MAN AND THE DISTINGUISHED BYRNES SCHOLARS WHO SHARE AND CARRY ON HIS VISION FOR FAMILY, FOR EDUCATION, FOR SOUTH CAROLINA, FOR THE NATION, AN END TO WAR, AND FOR A WORLD AT PEACE.
Whereas, James F. Byrnes was born May 2, 1879, in Charleston, left school early to work and help support his family due to his father having died before he was born, but studied and "read" the law under the close supervision of the late Judge James Aldrich and the late Daniel S. Henderson, Esquire. He was admitted to the South Carolina Bar in 1903, and thanks to his mother requiring that he learn shorthand at an early age, entered public life as a court reporter for the Second Circuit from 1900 to 1908, and as Solicitor for the Second Circuit from 1908 to 1910; and
Whereas, in 1911, James F. Byrnes, a Democrat, was elected to the United States House of Representatives, where he served until 1925. Of that election, he once recalled, "I campaigned on nothing but gall, and gall won by fifty-seven votes". In 1930, he was elected to the United States Senate. There he was highly respected by his colleagues and served until 1941. As a United States Senator he was instrumental in alleviating much of the pain and economic suffering resulting from the great depression by supporting and helping to push many of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "New Deal" measures through the Congress; and
Whereas, in 1941, James F. Byrnes was appointed to the United States Supreme Court by President Roosevelt and was sworn in as an Associate Justice on July 7, 1941. He is remembered for his judicial philosophy as expressed in his own words, "My belief is that it is the duty of a judge to declare what is the law and not what he thinks the law should be". Although his tenure on the Supreme Court was brief, he influenced several Supreme Court decisions. Mr. Byrnes wrote approximately sixteen decisions during his fifteen-month term as an Associate Justice and was often elected to write the formal opinion of a group of allied court members; and
Whereas, during World War II, on October 3, 1942, President Roosevelt requested that Mr. Byrnes take a leave of absence from the Supreme Court to serve as the Director of Economic Stabilization. Mr. Byrnes resigned, leaving behind the associates, security, and prestige of the Supreme Court in order to prevent the appearance of a conflict of interest between the executive and judicial branches of government, in order to serve wherever the President deemed he could serve best; and
Whereas, as the Director of Economic Stabilization in 1943 and 1944, during which he became popularly known as the "Assistant President" because of his close and trusted association with President Roosevelt, Mr. Byrnes' major concern was the control of prices, rents, wages, and services. He oversaw virtually every aspect of the nation's economy, from regulating farm wages and food production to the sale of shoes, to assure the armed forces fighting overseas were sufficiently equipped and to curtail those who sought to profit from the war effort. As head of the Office for War Mobilization in 1944 and 1945, all of the agencies concerned with production, procurement, transportation, and distribution of both civilian and military aspects of the war effort were governed and directed by the "Assistant President", Mr. Byrnes. Later, as Director of War Mobilization and Reconversion in 1945 to 1947, Mr. Byrnes traveled to Yalta to participate in the first Big Three Conference between Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin, was heavily involved in developing foreign policy for the post-war years, and developed many friendships with foreign leaders that inured to the benefit of the country; and
Whereas, resigning from his war posts in April 1945, Mr. Byrnes returned home to Spartanburg to resume his law practice. Shortly thereafter, President Roosevelt died in Warm Springs, Georgia, and President Truman asked Mr. Byrnes to be his Secretary of State. On July 3, 1945, Mr. Byrnes was sworn into office as Secretary of State and, in addition to his responsibilities in creating and carrying out foreign policy, Mr. Byrnes set out to assure the people of Germany and her allies that they would be allowed to choose their own forms of government. On September 6, 1946, Mr. Byrnes delivered his famous "Speech of Hope" in Stuttgart, Germany, committing American forces to Europe for as long as other occupying powers remained in Germany, and holding out to the German people the prospect of eventual prosperity and an honorable return to the community of nations. He was committed to establishing the United Nations as an effective peacekeeping body and was both instrumental and indispensable in all the postwar peace conferences: the Big Three Meeting at Potsdam, the meetings of the Foreign Ministers Council in London and Moscow, the United Nations General Assembly in London, the Big Four Meetings and the 21-Nation Peace Conference in Paris. He had been advised by his doctors to retire in April of 1946, but President Truman persuaded him to remain in office until all peace treaties resulting from World War II were signed; and
Whereas, after signing peace treaties with five nations following World War II, Mr. Byrnes resigned as Secretary of State in January, 1947, having done much to establish peace, and the means for maintaining peace, throughout the world. Mr. Byrnes once again returned to private life and his law practice in Spartanburg. His book, Speaking Frankly, was published in 1947. In 1948, he established the James F. Byrnes Foundation to assist South Carolina students who had lost one or both parents finance a college education. The first five-hundred dollar scholarship from the Byrnes Foundation was given out in 1949 from the proceeds of this book. More than 880 James F. Byrnes Scholarships have been awarded since 1949, and the foundation continues to be financed with the proceeds of Speaking Frankly and All In One Lifetime, published in 1958, and contributions from friends and admirers of Mr. and Mrs. Byrnes. Recipients of foundation scholarships formed a separate voluntary organization in 1964, the Byrnes Scholars, to function as a supporting arm to the foundation. The foundation completed a five-year Living Memorial campaign in 1995 in which former scholarship recipients contributed two hundred fifty thousand dollars for use towards Byrnes Foundation scholarships. The annual stipend now stands at two thousand five hundred dollars, and there are currently seventy Byrnes Scholars attending the colleges of their choice; and
Whereas, in June 1950, Mr. Byrnes won the Democratic primary for the office of Governor of South Carolina, had no opposition in the general election, and was inaugurated as Governor on January 16, 1951. Believing, as he said, "You cannot lift the State economically without raising the education level of people", his primary focus was on improving public education. His "education revolution" included a three percent sales tax and a seventy-five million dollar bond issue dedicated to building better public school facilities for all. Equally dedicated to improving the state's colleges and universities, he proposed, and the legislature agreed, that a 1953 funding surplus be allotted to institutions of higher learning. Other goals during his term as Governor included improvements to state mental health facilities, the establishment of a school for mentally handicapped children, and attracting new industries to the State. While Governor, in 1953, he also served as United States Delegate to the United Nations. Mr. Byrnes' term as Governor ended on January 18, 1955, after which he retired from public life. Thus ended a distinguished and unmatched career of unparalled public service that all began with a mother's love, shorthand in lieu of a formal education, grit, determination, and hard work, a wonderful wife named Maude, just enough gall, fifty-seven votes, and the courage, character, personality, and vision of Mr. James F. Byrnes; and
Whereas, the distinguished James F. Byrnes, departed this life on April 9, 1972, in faith and fear of the gracious God who gave him life, and is buried at Trinity Cathedral in Columbia across from the State House. A statue was erected in his honor on the State House grounds on the corner across from the cathedral. He was one of the greatest statesmen in American history, a gentleman and a patriot whose life's work was duty and service to others, and one whose memory remains as a guiding light and example to us all; and
Whereas, June 12, 1999, is the fiftieth anniversary of the James F. Byrnes Foundation, the living legacy of "Mom" and "Pop" Byrnes to the orphaned sons and daughters of their native state who, "United by Loss - Bound by Love", constitute the renowned and distinguished family of Byrnes Scholars. Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the Senate, the House of Representatives concurring:
That the members of the General Assembly, by this resolution, remember and recognize the tremendous contribution of the late James F. Byrnes to his State, the nation, and the cause of world peace and, with great admiration for his life, work, and quiet example, and with deep appreciation for his living legacy to the orphaned sons and daughters of his native State, the James F. Byrnes Foundation, and declare June 12, 1999, as "James F. Byrnes Memorial Day" in honor of this truly good man and the distinguished Byrnes Scholars who share and carry on his vision for family, for education, for South Carolina, for the nation, an end to war, and for a world at peace.
Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be sent to the James F. Byrnes Scholars Alumni Board, and to the Board of Directors of the James F. Byrnes Foundation.
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