When a group of kids came on a school bus to tour the Swamp, Frank Beidler was touched, and the Beidlers expressed a willingness to sell the property. But the Senators couldn't agree. The Legislative Session was set to end on October 2. Finally, on September 28, the Congaree Bill made it to the floor of the Senate. At about five minutes until 7:00, the Bill came up, the gavel went down, and no other legislation went through. On October 18, 1976, President Ford signed the bill, creating the 15,200-acre Congaree Swamp National Monument. Harry Hampton was 79. He had fought to preserve the Congaree for more than 20 years.