A marker recognizing the birthplace of Governor Terry Sanford will be dedicated in Laurinburg later this week.
The ceremony will be held in the Laurinburg City Council Chamber at 303 West Church Street on Friday at 4 p.m.
The public is invited to the ceremony, the unveiling and the reception that will follow.
The effort to obtain private funds for the marker has been spearheaded by state Sen. William Purcell with the help of retired educator Betty Myers and many others. The state cannot erect such a marker until many years after the death of a prominent person.
Sanford, a North Carolina governor and U.S. senator who twice ran for the Democratic presidential nomination, died in 1998. He was listed in a 1981 Harvard University study as one of the nation’s 10 best governors this century. Sanford also served as president of Duke University for 16 years.
He was born in Laurinburg in 1917 to Cecil and Elizabeth Sanford. He became an Eagle Scout in Laurinburg’s Troop 20 of the Boy Scouts of America. Shortly before he died, Sanford related his Scouting experience to journalist David Gergen and said that it “probably saved my life in the war. Boys who had been Scouts or had been in the CCC knew how to look after themselves in the woods. … What I learned in Scouts sustained me all my life; it helped me make decisions about what was best.”
The marker will include information about Sanford’s role as a Scout.
Expected to participate in Friday’s ceremony will be Purcell, Mayor Matthew Block, the Rev. Garland Pierce, Boy Scout Troop 420 and Laurinburg Presbyterian Church. Also making remarks are the honorable James Dickson Phillips, Jr., former dean of the UNC School of Law and retired federal judge; Terry Sanford, Jr.; Dr. Keith Brodie, President Emeritus, Duke University; and Michael Hill, Research Branch Supervisor, NC Office of Achieves and History.
Following the ceremony, there will be an unveiling of the marker a block away at 216 West Church St. A reception will follow at the Sanford House, home of the Scotland County Literary Council, at 213 McLaurin Ave.