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Significant Dates in Thurmond's Life

Important dates in the life of former Sen. Strom Thurmond:

--Dec. 5, 1902: Born, Edgefield County, S.C.

--1918: Enters Clemson College at 15.

--1923: Bachelor of science from Clemson. Works as teacher and coach.

--1928: First elected as school superintendent in Edgefield County.

--1930: Admitted to South Carolina Bar after studying law with his father.

--1933: Elected to state Senate.

--1938: Becomes state judge.

--1940s: Volunteers when the United States is drawn into World War II. Serves in Europe and the Pacific, lands with the D-Day invasion of Normandy and wins five battle stars and 18 other medals and decorations.

--1946: Elected South Carolina governor.

--1947: Marries 21-year-old Jean Crouch.

--1948: Runs for president as "States' Rights Democrat." Carries four Southern states.

--1950: Loses first run for U.S. Senate.

--1954: Wins U.S. Senate seat by 60,000 votes with write-in campaign to fill unexpired term of Sen. Burnet R. Maybank, who died.

--1956: Resigns to keep promise to stand for election in normal manner. Wins full Senate term.

--1957: Stages 24-hour, 18-minute filibuster against 1957 Civil Rights Act, which he denounces as "race mixing."

--1960: Wife Jean Thurmond dies.

--1964: Foreshadow's GOP's "Southern strategy" by switching from Democrat to Republican to support Barry Goldwater. Says Democrats are "leading the evolution of our nation to a socialistic dictatorship."

--1968: At age 66 marries 22-year-old Nancy Moore, a former Miss South Carolina. The couple would have four children.

--1970: First Southern senator to hire a black staff member.

--1978: "Strom Trek" re-election campaign; he repeatedly slides down a fire pole to prove he is still physically fit.

--1981: Named president pro tempore of the Senate.

--1983: Despite segregationist past, is honored by South Carolina Conference of Black Mayors.

--1991: Separates from wife, Nancy. Heads Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill hearings in Senate.

--April 1993: Daughter Nancy Moore Thurmond killed in traffic accident at age 22.

--1996: Easily re-elected to eighth term. Brushes aside age questions, saying "you don't have to be a young man to have a vision of what South Carolina should be like in the next century."

--May 1997: Becomes longest-serving member of the U.S. Senate, surpassing the late Sen. Carl Hayden of Arizona.

--November 2000: Says he might step aside before 2003 if his wife could take over. After hearing from angry constituents says leaving an evenly divided Senate would be "inappropriate."

--January 2001: Recommends 28-year-old son, Strom Jr., as U.S. attorney in South Carolina. Nomination confirmed later in the year.

--June 2001: Loses spot as Senate president pro tem after a party switch by Sen. James Jeffords of Vermont gives political control to Democrats. Given honorary title of president pro tem emeritus.

--November 2001: Moves into Walter Reed Army Medical Center at the advice of his doctors.

--December 2002: Celebrates 100th birthday in Washington, D.C.

--January 2003: Senate term ends; retires to Edgefield, S.C.

--June 26: Dies in Edgefield, S.C.