News Articles

Strom Thurmond celebrates 100th birthday

WASHINGTON (BP)–Retiring U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina celebrated his 100th birthday Dec. 5 as he wrapped up a legendary career as the oldest member of Congress ever.

“God bless you, Strom,” President George W. Bush said in a statement on Dec. 4. “The nation and I are grateful for your service.”

A lifelong Southern Baptist, Thurmond was pro-life and a strong supporter of conservative values. The Strom Thurmond Student Center on the campus of Charleston Southern University, a Baptist school affiliated with the Southern Carolina Baptist Convention, is named in his honor.

First elected to the Senate in 1954, the former school superintendent, attorney, judge, war hero and governor — who ran for the White House a half century ago as a segregationist — will retire January 3 when his eighth term comes to an end.

“I love all of you,” Thurmond told colleagues in a farewell speech in the Senate last month, “and especially your wives.”

On Dec. 6, Bush plans to have Thurmond at the White House to salute him as the first member of Congress to hit 100.

Fellow Republican Lindsay Graham, also a Southern Baptist, was elected to replace Thurmond.

    About the Author

  • Staff