The American Legion Department of S.C. takes pride in presenting “Palmetto Boys’ State” 2015.
This annual program is being held on the Anderson University Campus, Anderson, SC. As of Sunday, there were 1,042 boys registered. This is a record enrollment for the Palmetto Boys’ State Program. These young men are sponsored by American Legion Posts from across South Carolina. One of the requirements is that all boys must have completed the 11th grade of high school. These young men either attended public or private schools.
The “citizens” of Palmetto Boys’ State arrived Sunday afternoon, and graduation will be held Saturday morning.
Sunday afternoon the Boys’ State Citizens were divided into two political parties, the “Nationalist” and the “Federalists.” Some of the boys have decided to run for political office, and they have to convince the other boys in their “Party” to vote for them.
Palmetto Boys’ State is composed of seven “counties.” Each county has a “population” of approximately 125-175 citizens. There are three cities in four counties, and four cities in three counties.
The governmental organization of Palmetto Boys’ State consists of one state, seven judicial circuits, seven counties, twenty-four cities, and twenty-four election precincts.
The seven counties are named for seven prominent South Carolinians and the cities are named for S.C. rivers, such as Pee Dee, Reedy, Saluda, etc.
The Cities Are Organized Under Mayor-Council Type of Government.
From approximately 9:30 p.m. till 10:45 Sunday night, City Caucuses were conducted by parties. Election of city officials was held early Monday morning and the results announced and the city officials were sworn in and all citizens attended classroom instructions on “city” government.
Now the citizens must decide if they want to run for a county office. The filing deadline for county offices was 6:45 Monday night.
After attending classroom instruction on county government Tuesday morning, the citizens held their county party conventions. Campaign speeches for county offices were held on Tuesday afternoon and later the County Elections were held and the results were announced Tuesday evening.
Classroom instruction on state government was held Wednesday morning. All state constitutional offices were up for election starting with “Governor” and Lt. Governor.
The Party Conventions were held Wednesday morning and continued Wednesday night.
The “Political Rally” event was held Thursday morning and party candidates for Governor and Lt. Governor met with citizens. Also a written Exam for all citizens of PBS on classroom instructions received during the week was given.
A joint political rally was held Thursday night and later all citizens returned to their “city areas” where they held state constitutional officer elections.
Friday was “Inauguration” Day. Citizens rode buses to Columbia and participated in a parade with their Girls’ State citizens for the Inauguration Program at the State House.
Procession of the State of SC duly-elected constitutional officers were accompanied by their newly elected Palmetto Girls’ State and Palmetto Boys’ State counterparts.
Oath of Office was administered to Lt. Governors and other than the Governors by Palmetto Girls’ State and Palmetto Boys’ State Chief Justices.
The Oath of Office of newly-elected Governor of PGS and Governor of PBS was administered by Chief Justice Elect Costa M. Pleicones of the SC Supreme Court.
Saturday was “Graduation” Day.
This was the 75th Palmetto Boys’ State Program since the program started in 1940.
The first program was held at Camp Jackson in Columbia, and the first elected Governor was James L. Walker from Greenville.
The program was held on the University of SC Campus 1941-42 and 1950-1961 and 2004-2010. It was not held in 1943-46 because of World War II. It was held at Columbia Army Air Base 1947-1949. The Citadel hosted the program 1962-1990, and 1999-2003, Wofford College hosted 1991-1998.
Anderson University has been the host 2011-2015 and will host the 2016 program.