In 1914, Henry M. Williams, a weaver at the Cotton Mills Company in Columbia, asked to be excused from work for two days to cook a barbecue. The request was denied, but Williams skipped work to barbecue anyway. When he returned to the mill a few days later, he learned that his loom had been given to someone else and he was going to be evicted from his company-owned house in the mill village. Williams brought suit against the mill and won. The company appealed the case to the S.C. Supreme Court. One of the key issues was whether Williams should have been allowed to testify about the reason he missed two days of work. The mill’s lawyers had objected, apparently recognizing that — in South Carolina, at least — knowing that a man skipped work to barbecue would likely bias any jury in his favor. Williams won the appeal.
Charleston City Paper