|Name||Robert Evander McNair|
Columbia, South Carolina , United States
|| December 14, 1923
|| November 17, 2007
Jun 30, 2015 06:00pm
|Info||Robert Evander McNair was governor of the U.S. state of South Carolina from 1965 to 1971. |
McNair served in the US Navy during World War II, being awarded a bronze star for his service. After the war he completed his bachelors degree in 1947 at the University of South Carolina, followed by a law degree at the same school in 1948. He practiced law in Moncks Corner, South Carolina and Allendale, South Carolina from which he was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1951. He was elected lieutenant governor in 1962, then succeeded Donald S. Russell in 1965 when Russell resigned with the understanding that McNair would appoint him to a then-vacant United States Senate seat, which McNair did.
McNair was a Democrat and a pro-education governor. After his term as governor, he began a law firm in Columbia, where he still resides (in 2005). He was inducted into the South Carolina Hall of Fame, and awarded an honorary doctorate in 2005 by Francis Marion University, a school he signed into creation while governor in 1970.
McNair was governor during the Orangeburg Massacre in 1968 which he blamed on Black Power advocates, and called it a stain on the state's good record in civil rights. He said it was "one of the saddest days in the history of South Carolina." Following this, McNair became much more proactive in working to defuse tensions that were present during the Civil Rights era and the integration of the public schools.