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During the colonial and antebellum periods and for many years after, South Carolina women lacked legal rights, had little access to education, and had few means available to support themselves other than depending on husbands, fathers, or other male relatives. By the twenty-first century South Carolina women had knocked down many of these barriers but still lagged on many indicators, including education, employment, income, and health care. Nonwhite women have also had to overcome racial discrimination.


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Those who worked with still-missing Heather Elvis at the Tilted Kilt in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, say her affair with Sidney Moorer, a married man and father of three kids, was anything but secret. Elvis was a hostess at the restaurant where Moorer -- a then year-old maintenance worker -- would stop while doing his rounds at area restaurants. Before his affair with Elvis inhe had another one that made his wife especially suspicious of him, according to Chris Helms, who later prosecuted the Moorers. Elvis and Moorer had been dating for three months when, soon after that prank call in Octobertheir relationship ended when Tammy Moorer, 40, confronted Elvis on the phone.

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One hundred years ago — as dozens of state legislatures voted to ensure women across the country had the legal right to vote — South Carolina lawmakers said no. It took almost 50 more years before the state officially ratified the 19th Amendment.

As part of a national project commemorating the th anniversary of the 19th Amendmentthis story spotlights 10 women from South Carolina who are part of a list of American women from each state and the District of Columbia who've made a ificant difference in the world.

We came up with a list of 55 incredible women from South Carolina who could not be stopped from breaking the cultural barriers that remained even as women became legally entitled to the same rights as men.

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In the world of sports, there was Lillian Ellison, a trailblazer in the development of women's wrestling. But we had to narrow our list to just 10 women — a challenging task.

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Not every woman worthy of being celebrated made our final cut. We looked specifically at women who lived in the years since the 19th Amendment was passed We also considered only women who had a documented track record of outstanding achievements, and we weighed how well known each woman was, how large of an impact she had and whether she was a U.

Ultimately, we chose the following 10 women.

Gibson was a trailblazer for athletes of color and especially women in the United States, changing hearts and minds about the importance of desegregation through her play on the tennis court at the onset of the Civil Rights movement. She broke the color barrier at the U. Open in as the first African American player to enter the competition. She retired from professional play infinishing her career with 11 Grand Slam titles in both singles and doubles play.

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She was inducted into the U. Open Court of Champions in A photographer and suffragist, Pollitzer went on to push for ratification of the 19th Amendment. Burn to cast the deciding vote for the 19th Amendment.

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Moore is also the founder and chair of the Palmetto Institute, a nonprofit thinktank that strives to raise income across South Carolina. Inshe was the first woman to be profiled on the cover of Fortune magazine and was named one of the Top 50 Most Powerful Women in American Business.

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Moore currently serves on the National Teach for America board of directors and the Culture Shed board. The University of South Carolina business school is named after Moore, the first business school in the country named for a woman.

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Singer-actress Eartha Kitt left the South Carolina cotton fields and soared to international fame. Most famous for her rendition of the song "Santa Baby" and the coquettish Catwoman on the "Batman" TV series in toKitt was born in in St. Matthews, South Carolina, and spent her early childhood in North, South Carolina, before being sent to live with an aunt in New York at age 8.

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She toured worldwide with the company before turning 20 and by was appearing on Broadway. Throughout her career, Kitt found success in many fields. She acted in movies, playing opposite Nat King Cole in "St.

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Louis Blues" inand appearing in "Boomerang" and "Harriet the Spy" in the s. Kitt, a Grammy-nominated singer, had hits in the U. For all her fame, Kitt remained throughout her life a champion of the marginalized and oppressed. InToal was named chief justice of the court, a role she held until she retired in When Toal became a d attorney inshe was one of the the fewer than 1 percent of d lawyers in the state who were women.

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In her career as an attorney, Toal represented a mix of plaintiffs and defendants in cases ranging from environmental law to criminal and civil matters. Matilda Evans rose from hood picking cotton in South Carolina's rural Aiken County to making an immeasurable impact on health care access for African Americans in the post-Reconstruction era.

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The daughter of parents who were born into slavery, Evans took to heart their message that education was the way toward a brighter future, studying diligently to become a doctor. Evans then returned to South Carolina, where she settled in Columbia, a city of about 25, people at the time, more than 40 percent of whom were African American.

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In doing so, she became the first Black woman native of South Carolina to work in the state as a physician. After a successful period as a private practice physician for both Black and white patients, Evans gave up her business in to found the Taylor Lane Hospital and Training School for Nurses, the first hospital in Columbia open to African Americans.

There she served as superintendent in a one-story wood frame building with room for 30 patients, offering free health care and health education.

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Evans went on to open a temporary free clinic for African Americans, which had such a high demand that it later became a permanent operation with financial backing from the State Board of Health and Richland County Legislative Delegation. Through her career, Evans was known and respected for her work across segregated boundaries, giving her a platform to continue advocating for social and health care reform. Her influence on the rise of health care activism became a building block in the modern civil rights movement. A public health worker and civil rights advocate, Columbia native Modjeska Monteith Simkins fought for racial equality at great personal cost.

She began attending Benedict College, then an institution for primary- through college-level students, in second grade and remained there through college.

After college, Simkins became a teacher, but was forced to quit after getting married. InSimkins went to work as Director of Negro Work for South Carolina Tuberculosis Association, but was fired a decade later for her work as a civil rights activist. Elliott court case that sought to end desegregation in Clarendon County. Her activism made her the target of violence, including shots being fired at her home, and being accused of subversive activities by the FBI and the House Un-American Activities Committee.

Nikki Haley, a politician, businesswoman, diplomat and author, was South Carolina's first female governor and the first Indian American woman to serve as a governor in the United States. She served in the South Carolina House of Representatives from torepresenting District 87 in Lexington County, and was elected governor in Haley won her bid for reelection, serving as governor for six years before reing to become U.

While governor, Haley led the effort to remove the Confederate flag from South Carolina's Statehouse grounds in after white supremacist Dylann Roof fatally shot nine people at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston. On Nov. She announced in October that she would step down as U. It was released in late Clark started her teaching career in a one-room schoolhouse on Johns Island right after high school, during a time when the Charleston County school district did not hire Black Charleston married women.

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Clark successfully petitioned for the district to change its policy. Clark fought alongside the NAACP for integrated schools and equal pay for Black educators in South Carolina before she was fired by the Charleston district in the s for her involvement in the movement.

Bythe governor of South Carolina had declared her firing unjust. She began her teaching career in at the one-room Jones School in Greenwood. Seeing the levels of illiteracy and poverty among students and their families inspired Gray to focus on adult education. Her efforts to lift adults of all races out of poverty led her to create four-week summer schools and adult educational camps.

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The alternative-education school works with at-risk high-school-age students to help them develop leadership skills, achieve personal goals and earn a GED. Gray received many accolades for her work, including the Algernon-Sidney Sullivan Award for service to mankind, the Service to the Black Race Award from South Carolina State University, and several honorary doctorates.

She was inducted into the South Carolina Hall of Fame in Gray retired in but continued to volunteer. She died at ageand her portrait hangs in the South Carolina State House. Sources used in the Women of the Century list project include newspaper articles, state archives, historical websites, encyclopedias and other resources.

Singer eartha kitt, former south carolina governor nikki haley among state’s women of the century

Facebook Twitter. Women of the Century: Recognizing the accomplishments of women from the last years. Published pm UTC Aug.