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G. Thomas Turnipseed Papers

George Thomas Turnipseed was an attorney and Democratic member of the South Carolina State Senate (Lexington County) known for his liberal activism.  Turnipseed transformed from being the executive director of George Wallace’s 1968 Presidential campaign to successfully suing the Ku Klux Klan for damages to a church in South Carolina thirty years later.

Turnipseed, G. Thomas (1936-2020)

Papers, 1952-2020
In 1967, Turnipseed began to work for Governor Wallace’s 1968 Presidential campaign. Turnipseed was soon made the Executive Director of the campaign and managed a political feat that has not been duplicated since: He was able to get a third-party candidate on the ballot in all fifty states.  In 1971, Turnipseed stepped down as Wallace’s National Campaign Director to focus on his family and law practice, even though Wallace was again running in the 1972 election. An assassination attempt on May 5, 1972 left Wallace paralyzed, effectively ending his campaign. After this incident, Turnipseed officially resigned from Wallace’s personal staff.

Turnipseed campaigned for a number of offices over the years, chiefly to bring attention to a variety of issues. He ran for Attorney General in 1974 and again in 1998. In 1976, he defeated incumbent state senator A.J. Dooley and served a term in the General Assembly; then in 1978, ran for Governor, a campaign he truncated due to health issues. In 1980, he was the Democratic nominee opposing incumbent Congressman Floyd Spence. In 1982, Turnipseed ran for Lt. Governor.
Collection Finding Aid 
The G. Thomas Turnipseed papers consist of 8 ft. of material, dating from 1952-2020.  The collection series include Public, Personal, Clippings, Vertical File materials, and Audiovisual materials.  An Audiovisual appendix indicates audio cassettes that have been digitized.

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