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1917: In the midst of World War I, Terry Sanford is born in Laurinberg, North Carolina to Cecil and Elizabeth Martin Sanford. Sanford was one of our children born to Cecil and Elizabeth.
1929: Laurinberg, along with the rest of the country, is gripped in the Great Depression. The Sanford's lose their hardware shop and move into an old schoolhouse that has been subdivided for rental. Terry Sanford helps the family make ends meet by delivering papers.
1935: At the age of 18, Sanford enrolls at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He attended the university, and later the law school in Chapel Hill, until he received his JD in 1946. It was during this time period that Sanford credits Franklin Delano Roosevelt with shaping his politics and aspirations.
1941: The day after the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Sanford receives a telegram from Herbert Hoover offering him a position with the FBI. Sanford accepted and left law school to become an investigator.
1942: Determined to see combat, Sanford takes a military leave from the FBI and joins the Army as a paratrooper. Before the war is over, Sanford has seen action in five European campaigns winning a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. It is also in 1942 that Sanford marries Margaret Rose Knight. Together, they will have two children, Betsee and Terry Jr.
1944: Sanford is wounded at the Battle of the Bulge but refuses to be evacuated. It is this wound that earns him the Purple Heart.
1946: Sanford returns from the war and finishes his law degree at UNC-CH.
1949: Sanford is elected president of the Young Democrats Club, marking the beginning of his life in politics. The statewide clubs served an important role in politics at the time, providing precinct by precinct organization for their larger parent parties.
1952: Sanford wins his campaign for state Senate and serves one term.
1954: Sanford manages Kerr Scott's successful campaign for U.S. Senate. While working on the campaign, Sanford realized he could successfully run a statewide campaign and began laying the groundwork for a gubernatorial run. He also began planning how to deal with issues of race that were already appearing as contentious campaign tactics.
1960: After winning a racially charged primary against the segregationist I. Beverly Lake, Sanford wins the gubernatorial election. It is during this campaign that Sanford travels to Los Angeles to second the nomination of John Kennedy for president at the Democratic convention. Sanford runs his campaign on a platform of education and, within a few short years, he begins to deliver on his promises.
1961-1965: During Sanford's single term as governor he makes improving public education his first priority. He guided a food tax through the Legislature to assure funds for our state's schools. He increased the budget of the public schools by 50 percent and our universities and community colleges by 70 percent. And most importantly, he helped our state integrate our schools. A visionary and a brave governor, Sanford is constitutionally mandated to a single term as governor.
1967: "Storm Over the States" is published. Sanford lays forth a new groundwork for state government and the federal system by recommending a "creative federalism."
1968: Sanford serves as the national chairman for Hubert Humphrey's failed presidential campaign. While campaigning and organizing Humphrey's presidential bid, Sanford realizes that he could run his own national campaign.
1970: Sanford is named president of Duke University. Within months of taking the job, student demonstrations threaten to tear the campus apart. In the wake of the Kent State Massacre, students demonstrating against the war in Vietnam attempt to storm the administration building. Sanford goes to the students and calms their fears, telling them their demonstrations are effective but that they should be focused on changing policy in Washington, not Durham.
1972: Petitioned by Duke students, Sanford makes his first failed run at the presidency, losing the North Carolina primaries to the conservative George McGovern.
1976: Sanford withdraws from a declining second run at the presidency before the North Carolina primaries.
1981: Sanford attempts to procure President Nixon's papers for Duke. It was a unique opportunity to garner national recognition for the university, Sanford said. Many critics charge, however, that Sanford attempted to bypass the student body and faculty acceptance. Sanford's bid fails when the faculty refuse to accept the papers.
1985: Sanford steps down from the presidency at Duke University. He has brought the university to national prominence both for its academic program and its basketball program, run by Mike Krzyzewski.
1986: Sanford wins the election for U.S. Senator. In his single term in Washington he takes brave stands on a balanced budget and holds controversial hearings on peace in the Middle East.
1992: Sanford looses his re-election bid to Republican Lauch Faircloth.
1998: Sanford dies in his sleep from complications relating to cancer.