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TO REQUEST THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION NAME RICHARD STREET IN RICHLAND COUNTY "DEACON JAMES KNOTTS STREET" AND ERECT APPROPRIATE MARKERS OR SIGNS ALONG THIS STREET CONTAINING THIS DESIGNATION.
Whereas, James Knotts, who served during World War II as a Montford Point Marine, was honored with his Montford Marine comrades in a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on June 27, 2012; and
Whereas, from 1942 to 1949, Montford Point Camp in Jacksonville, North Carolina, was a segregated training facility that readied for military service the first African Americans to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps. During the June 27 ceremony, for their courageous service during World War II the Montford Marines received bronze replicas of the Congressional Gold Medal given to the Montford Point Marine Association; and
Whereas, born on December 19, 1919, Montford Marine James Knotts attended Rocky Swamp School in his hometown of Norway. Following the death of his father, he left school after completing third grade to help provide for his mother. His first job was picking blackberries, which lit a spark in young James that eventually grew into a passion for gardening; and
Whereas, on April 1, 1945, at the age of twenty-four, James Knotts was drafted into the Marine Corps and received his basic training with the 518th Battalion at Montford Point Camp, making him one of the first African Americans to serve in the Marine Corps; and
Whereas, after his honorable discharge in 1946, he volunteered with the Marine Corps Reserves and eventually served in the Korean Conflict, as well; and
Whereas, married to Leona Bowlin Knotts for forty-two years, James Knotts lost his wife to an untimely death in 1981, but God soon blessed him with another spouse, Flossie Butler Knotts. God called her home in 1991.
Whereas, a man of faith, James Knotts became a faithful and active member of Columbia's Sweet Home Baptist Church in 1952. He has served there in several capacities and currently holds the title of Deacon Emeritus. In addition, he is active in his community in various organizations, including VFW #6 (Reeder Point, Eastway Park, and Atlas Road communities), and as a gardener he enjoys the yearly competition he and his neighbors launch to see who can grow the biggest and best garden; and
Whereas, it would be fitting and proper to recognize Mr. James Knotts for his service as a Montford Marine by naming Richard Street in Richland County in his honor. Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the Senate, the House of Representatives concurring:
That the members of the South Carolina General Assembly, by this resolution, request the Department of Transportation name Richard Street in Richland County "Deacon James Knotts Street" and erect appropriate markers or signs along this street containing this designation.
Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be provided to the Department of Transportation.
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