SC no stranger to political controversy

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Gov. Mark Sanford’s revelation of an affair with an Argentinian woman certainly doesn’t mark the first time a Palmetto State elected official has found himself in political hot water.

As WIS-TV reports, there have been others over the past couple hundred years whose situations rivaled and even surpassed Sanford’s in terms of notoriety.

Gov. James Henry Hammond, a high-society husband, father and businessman elected in 1842, saw his term mired in controversy as his brother-in-law, Wade Hampton II, accused him of inappropriate activities with the Hampton daughters and his slaves. Gov. Hammond would late separate from his wife but go on to serve in the US Senate.

In 1856 SC Sen. Preston Smith Brooks of South Carolina attacked Massachusetts Sen. Charles Sumner with a walking cane in the US Senate chambers. Beaten to the floor, the senator survived but Brooks was dead less than a year later of the croup.

In 1903 State newspaper editor NG Gonzales was gunned down by Lt. Gov. James Hammond Tillman in downtown Columbia. Lt. Gov. Tillman was later acquitted by a Lexington County jury.

In 1998 Gov. David Beasley held a press conference to try and quash rumors of an affair with a staffer, the wife a prominent South Carolina attorney.

And, of course, Strom Thurmond had his progeny issues, though they weren’t publicly disclosed until after his death in 2003.

Remembering patriot Caesar Rodney

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On this day 225 years ago, American Revolution hero Caesar Rodney died in Kent County, Delaware, at age 55.

Today, he’s best known for his 80-mile ride by horse through a thunderstorm to Philadelphia to break a deadlock among the Delaware delegation on the vote for American independence. 

Rodney is said to have dramatically arrived at Independence Hall in Philadelphia “in his boots and spurs” on July 2,1776,  just as the voting was beginning. His vote allowed Delaware to join eleven other states in voting in favor of the resolution of independence.

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