Timeline

1930 - 1940 - 1950 - 1960 - 1970 - 1980 - 1990 - 2000

1930

  • 1934: James Eubert Holshouser, Jr. is born in Boone, NC to Virginia Dayvault Holshouser, a nurse, and James Eubert Holshouser, U. S. District Attorney and a district court judge, on October the 8 th. James is born into a family of what he later describes as “Lincoln Republicans.” His maternal grandfather, however, was a Texas Democrat and was named after Andrew Jackson. His parents were married in 1933.
  • 1938: The family attends the Presbyterian Church in Blowing Rock until James was five years old when a new Presbyterian church was built in Boone. Holshouser’s family very involved in the church, and everyone in the community pitched in for the new building. James says he remembers bringing water to the builders.
  • 1939: James attends public schools in Boone, NC.

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1950

  • 1952: Graduates from Appalachian High School, Boone, NC in June. He was Senior Class President, Vice-President of the National Honors Society, played Baseball, was Sports Editor of school newspaper, Senior Editor of Annual, played trombone in All-State band, and the Orchestra and sang in the Chorus. On his bio for entering freshmen at Davidson College, James Holshouser Jr. lists golf, tennis, ping-pong, music and sports writing as his hobbies and interests.
  • 1956: Graduates from Davidson College, Davidson, NC with a B.S. in History. He was President of his senior class, sports editor of the Davidsonian, sports editor of Quips and Cranks (annual), International Relations club, played trombone in Pep Band, Chapel Choir, varsity baseball, Historians club (Phi Alpha Delta), Phi Delta Theta (social fraternity.)
  • 1957: Enters UNC-Chapel Hill law school in September. It is during his tenure at UNC that he develops his interest in politics, particularly in the area of judicial reform. He frequently attends sessions of the state legislature while a student at UNC.

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1960

  • 1960: Graduates from UNC-Chapel Hill Law School where he serves as class president; After graduating from UNC Law School, returns to Boone and joins his fathers law practice (Holshouser and Holshouser) and becomes actively involved in community improvement organizations by serving as county chairman of the Heart Fund, the United Fund Board of Directors, the advisory board of the Regional Mental Health Authority, the board of directors of the Southern Appalachian Historical Association, and the Mountain Scenic Economic Development Commission.
  • 1961: Marries Patricia Ann Hollingsworth in the Davis Chapel at Wake Forest College on June 18 th. The bride’s father, a Baptist minister, Dr. Leon H. Hollingsworth, performs the ceremony. Miss Hollingsworth graduated cum laude from Appalachian State University with a B.S. in Home Economics the same year. Her twin sister, Miss Nancy Hollingsworth, was the maid of honor. The bridegroom’s father serves as the best man. They live in Boone, NC.
  • 1962: Elected chairman of the Watauga County Young Republicans; Serves as Chairman of the Miss Watauga Pageant; Elected to the N.C. House of Representatives in a small but growing Republican Party on a platform to expedite application of the new court reform law, reduce taxes and establish an automobile inspection plan. He will go on to serve four terms in the legislature. During his tenure he championed such causes as reorganization of state government, restructuring of higher education, judicial reform and drug abuse legislation; Serves on Board of Directors of both Davidson College Alumni Association and the UNC Law Alumni Association.
  • 1963:Elected Secretary of the Republican Joint House-Senate caucus in the Legislature. He fights for court reform; Daughter, Virginia Walker Holshouser is born on September 27 th. She is named for James’ mother, Virginia Dayvault Holshouser.
  • 1964: Named Watauga County’s Young Man of the Year, and is re-elected to second term in the House of Representatives; Lyndon Johnson presidential victory (a landslide) starts a Republican revival in the South. This helps Holshouser’s career in politics and his rise within the Republican Party.
  • 1965: Elected house Minority Leader by Republicans in Legislature and becomes the highest-ranking republican in the state of NC. He is soon appointed Vice-Chairman of House Judiciary Committee. Appointed to powerful Joint House-Senate Appropriations Sub-Committee.
  • 1966: Elected to five-year term as State Chairman of the Republican Party. At age 31, he is the youngest chairman-elect in state history. Largest Republican Legislative delegation in history is elected.
  • 1967: As chairman of the state Republican party, establishes the first full-time G.O.P. executive staff.
  • 1968: Re-elected State Chairman of the Republican Party. Organizes state campaign for Richard Nixon. Two new Republican Congressmen are elected. The state goes for Republican presidential campaign for first time in 40 years. Re-elected to House of Representatives; Selected for membership in “Outstanding Young Men of America” in October after nomination by his Alma Mater, Davidson College. Named “Tar Heel of the Week” by the Raleigh News and Observer and serves as member of the Court Study Commission of the State Bar Association; Becomes NC campaign manager for Richard Nixon's bid for US President.
  • 1969: Selected for inclusion in the 1969 editions of “Personalities of the South” and “Who’s Who in the South and Southwest;" As a member of the state legislature, he is re-elected Chairman of the Joint House-Senate Republican Caucus. Leads fight against governor Bob Scott’s (1969-1973) new tobacco, soft drink and gasoline taxes. Re-appointed to Joint Appropriations Sub-committee.

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1970

  • 1970: Re-elected State Chairman of the GOP. Appointed to American Revolution Bicentennial Commission by President Nixon. Re-elected to House of Representatives after defeating two strong primary opponents.
  • 1971: An old friend of Holshouser’s, Harry Dent, who served as a chairman in the state GOP together, was working in the Whitehouse. Dent offered James the position of general council for the Navy. Although it was an attractive offer, Holshouser decided against leaving the state and turned down the offer. Governor Holshouser says that in retrospect this was a real crossroads for him that sent him on his way toward the gubernatorial campaign and a further career in politics. Had he accepted the offer, he probably never would have become governor; Re-elected Joint House-Senate Republican Caucus chairman. Fights for consumer legislation and restructuring of Higher Education. Re-named to joint Appropriations Sub-Committee; Named one of five national winners of the “Freedom Guard Award”, a prestigious award presented by the U.S. Jaycees to an individual who has made outstanding contributions in the fields of religious, civic and government service. President Richard Nixon presented the award at the White House. He is a JCI Senator, and has been awarded a Life Membership in the North Carolina Jaycees.
  • 1972: Announces his candidacy for Governor of North Carolina; When announcing his candidacy, Holshouser said, “Our state stands on the threshold of greatness, and yet so much needs to be done. I recognize the awesome responsibility and enormous task in the job I seek. I know that no man can do it alone. At the same time, I also know that the people in North Carolina have a spirit equal to any challenge.”
  • 1973: Wins gubernatorial election by a narrow margin. With 2,229 of 2,263 precincts reporting, Holshouser has 755,011 votes to Bowles’ 709,680. Democrat James B. Hunt Jr. wins the Lieutenant Governor’s race. Holshouser does not take most of eastern NC; On January 5 th is inaugurated and becomes the first republican governor of the state of North Carolina in 72 years. At the age of 38, he is also the youngest Chief Executive since the nineteenth century and the second youngest Governor-elect in the history of the state. The inauguration of Jim Holshouser heralded the beginning of a new era for the Tar Heel State; Governor Holshouser appoints the first woman to a high-ranking, cabinet-level position. Grace Rohrer is appointed Commissioner of the Department of Art, History and Culture; As an advocate of free trade and following President Nixon’s groundbreaking meeting with Leonid Brezhnev in the Soviet Union, Governor Holshouser leads a North Carolina trade mission to Moscow in September. The stop in Moscow was part of a three-week tour with a 31-member trade commission to the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe; Joins “Board of Advisors,” Lees McRae College. Begins long-time fundraising effort for Davidson, the private liberal arts college he, his father and two uncles attended.
  • 1974: Receives honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) degree and is principal speaker at Appalachian State University; Receives honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) degree from Davidson College, his alma mater, on May 19 th; Gas prices soared past 50 cents in the Triangle in early January. Governor Holshouser urges gasoline stations to serve customers based on even or odd license plate numbers.
  • 1975: Honored in Washington, DC by the Senator Hugh Scott National Scholarship Foundation for his significant contributions to the field of human rights; Governor Holshouser faces serious economic challenges in NC, which was deeply affected by the national recession, a natural gas crisis, rising unemployment rates, and the political fallout of Watergate; The “Governor James E. Holshouser Building” on the North Carolina State Fairgrounds is completed and dedicated.
  • 1976: Breaks ground for the natural habitat area at the NC Zoological Park in Asheboro; Governor Holshouser and wife Patricia receive the Ruth Coltrane Cannon cup for “outstanding and significant achievements in the field of historic preservation” for their work preserving the Executive Mansion.
  • 1977 During his term as Governor, he was elected to the Executive Committee of the National Governors conference, and he was elected Chairman of the Southern Regional Education Board, Co-chairman of the Coastal Plains Regional Commission, and Chairman of the Southern Growth Policies Board; The end of his term as governor, Holshouser will not run for re-election; The Holshousers move to Southern Pines where Jim joins a law practice “Brown, Holshouser and Page;" Governor Holshouser learns to fly a single-engine Cessna 172, but a car accident in his new Cadillac, a going-away present, and delays getting his pilot’s license until the spring. He flies the 4-seater Cessna between his two law practices in Boone and Southern Pines; Selected for Southern Presbyterian Committee on Theology and Culture
  • 1978 Becomes Chairman of the Board, First Colony Savings and Loan Association, Becomes trustee, Davidson College Board of Trustees, and continues to be an important fundraiser for the private college.
  • 1979: Elected to an 8-year term on the UNC Board of Governors in March by the NC General Assembly; Ronald Reagan asks James Holshouser to join his campaign team. Holshouser accepts.

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1980

  • 1981:Receives UNC School of Law Distinguished Alumni award; His father, James E. “Peck” Holshouser dies at age 80 at his home in Boone in January. Born in 1900 in Blowing Rock, NC, he was the son of the late William Lowrance and Laura Clampitt Holshouser. He was a graduate of the Appalachian Training School, Davidson College in 1925, and UNC Law School in 1929. He began a law practice in Boone in 1929 and went on to serve as a US District Attorney from 1958 to 1961, and was elected district judge in 1968 and served until he retired in 1972. He was very active in the First Presbyterian Church. He ran as a republican candidate for the state House of Representatives in 1974.
  • 1983: Becomes chairman of the board for a new savings and loan venture called “Sunbelt Savings and Loan.”
  • 1984: Campaigns heavily for longtime friend James Martin’s governor’s campaign, which he eventually wins.
  • 1985: January Gov. Holshouser is named on UNC President search committee.
  • 1986: Governor Holshouser undergoes a kidney transplant at NC Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem. Mr. Holshouser had an end-stage kidney disease after suffering from kidney problems for many years. The disease affected both kidneys.; The NC state Board of Transportation dedicates highway 321, named in Governor Holshouser’s honor for his efforts to improve the quality of life for North Carolinians.
  • 1987:Becomes Chairman of the Davidson College $50 million Capital Campaign Fund, which is successful; Re-elected to the UNC Board of Governors. Still serves to date as member emeritus. He has served as Chairman of both the Personnel Committee and the Budget and Finance Committee.
  • 1989: Elected to the Board of Directors of the United Network for Organ Sharing, the organization designated by the federal government to oversee and establish rules for the distribution of organs for transplants in the United States.

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1990

  • 1990: Joins the leadership committee for the “Campaign for St. Andrews,” an aggressive capital campaign for the Presbyterian college with a pledge goal of $12 million over three years. He also serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees.
  • 1992: Serves as Chairman of the Board of the Matter of Life Consortium, Inc., an organization formed to increase statewide education and involvement for organ and tissue transplantation. He is also honorary chairman of the National Kidney Foundation of North Carolina.
  • 1993: Awarded the “I.E. Ready Award,” presented by the NCCCA (North Carolina Community Colleges Association) the award recognizes people who have made important contributions to the community college movement locally, statewide and nationally.
  • 1994: Founding member of the NC Community Development Initiative. The Initiative was founded in 1994 to help revitalize struggling communities and direct financial and technical support to community-development corporations throughout the state.
  • 1995: Wins citation for Distinguished Public Service from the NCCBI (North Carolina Citizens for Business and Industry.); Mother, Virginia Dayvault Holshouser, dies in Boone at 84 years on December 13 th.
  • 1996: Serves as chairperson of the UNC Board of Governors Presidential Search Committee.
  • 1997: Appalachian State University establishes a $500,000 endowed professorship focused on the topic of ethics honoring former governor James Holshouser.
  • 1999: Serves as co-chairman with Tom Smith, chief executive of the Food Lion supermarket chain, of the North Carolina affiliate of the draft Elizabeth Dole for president organization.

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2000

  • 2000: Governor Holshouser remains active on the UNC Board of Governors as an emeritus member. 

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