The Last Lynching

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Strom Thurmond had been at home in the governor’s mansion less than a month when the phone rang early on the morning of Feb. 17, 1947, with the chilling news. There had been a lynching in Pickens County. A 24-year-old black man named Willie Earle had been seized from the county jail by a mob, carried across the Greenville County line and beaten, stabbed, and blasted twice at close range with a shotgun.


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