SARA VANDIVER LIVERANCE PAPERS, 1954-1973, 1981, nd (Accession 65)
Sara Vandiver Liverance (1914-1996) was a club member, journalist for the Greenville News, and chief of its Anderson Bureau from 1949-1976. Mrs. Liverance played an instrumental role and was the driving force in getting the South Carolina General Assembly’s move to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment in 1967 which officially gave South Carolina women the right to vote.
“In 1958, sara Liverance, then chief of the Anderson Bureau of the Greenville News, committed herself to the campaign to get jury service for women.
In 1921, less than a year after the suffrage amendment was ratified, the South Carolina legislature had enacted a law excluding women from serving as jurors. Taking her fight to the legislature in the early 1960s, Liverance rejected the idea that women belonged on a pedestal, insisting instead, “We want to work alongside the men and bear the load too.”
The General Assembly voted in 1966 to submit the question to the voters in the next general election and Liverance took her campaign to the people. She wrote letters and newspaper articles, visited civic groups, and organized women’s groups to work for the referendum.
Taken for granted by many today, the right to serve on a jury is an important responsibility of every citizen. Through the efforts of Sara Liverance and women like her, South Carolina women now share this right and responsibility. On May 8, 1967, eight Anderson County women became the first women in South Carolina to serve on a state jury.” (League of Women Voters of South Carolina, South Carolina Voter, Volume XXXI, No.4, June/July 1981)
She served as secretary to the South Carolina Conference on the Status of Women (1956), was president of the South Carolina Council of the Good (1960-1962), was a member of the South Carolina Governor’s Committee on the Status of Women (1965-1971), was a member of the South Carolina Tri-Centennial Commission (1968-1971), was Recording Secretary for the Anderson County Historical Society (1967-1976), and was a Past Legislative Chairman of the South Carolina Council for the Common Good. Mrs. Liverance was chosen Career Woman of the Year by the Anderson Business and Professional Women’s Club (1967) and was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award by the Council for the Common Good (1973).
The Sara Vandiver Liverance Papers includes correspondence, memoranda, minutes, program notes, newspaper clippings, legislative bills and publications, concerning Mrs. Liverance’s efforts as legislative chairwoman to the S.C. Women’s Council for the Common Good, to get jury service for women in S.C. and in trying to improve nursing care in the state. While the collection extends from 1954 to 1981, most of the material is for the period from 1966 to 1973.
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