George Wallace inaugurated as Alabama governor

George Wallace inaugurated as Alabama governor

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On January 14, 1963, George Wallace is inaugurated as the governor of Alabama, promising his followers, “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!” His inauguration speech was written by Ku Klux Klan leader Asa Carter, who later reformed his white supremacist beliefs and wrote The Education of Little Tree under the pseudonym of Forrest Carter. (The book, which gives a fictitious account of Carter’s upbringing by a Scotch-Irish moonshiner and a Cherokee grandmother, poignantly describes the difficulties faced by Native Americans in American society.)

George Wallace’s ideological journey was not unlike Asa Carter’s. In 1958, Wallace made his first bid for Alabama’s gubernatorial seat. The NAACP endorsed him while the KKK endorsed his opponent in the primary. He was defeated by a wide margin. Four years later, Wallace had become a fiery segregationist and won election to the governor’s office in a landslide victory. He promised “segregation forever” but soon buckled under federal opposition.

In June 1963, under federal pressure, he was forced to end his literal blockade of the University of Alabama and allow the enrollment of African American students. Despite his failures in slowing the accelerating civil rights movement in the South, Wallace became a national spokesman for resistance to racial change and in 1964 entered the race for the U.S. presidency. Although defeated in most Democratic presidential primaries he entered, his modest successes demonstrated the extent of popular backlash against integration. In 1968, he made another strong run as the candidate of the American Independent Party and managed to get on the ballot in all 50 states. On Election Day, he drew 10 million votes from across the country.

In 1972, Governor Wallace returned to the Democratic Party for his third presidential campaign and, under a slightly more moderate platform, was showing promising returns when Arthur Bremer shot him on May 15, 1972. Three others were wounded in Bremer’s attack on a Wallace rally in Maryland, and Wallace was permanently paralyzed from the waist down. The next day, while fighting for his life in a hospital, he won major primary victories in Michigan and Maryland. However, Wallace remained in the hospital for several months, bringing his third presidential campaign to an irrevocable end.

After his recovery, he faded from national prominence and made a poor showing in his fourth and final presidential campaign in 1979. During the 1980s, Wallace’s politics shifted dramatically, especially in regard to race. He contacted civil rights leaders he had so forcibly opposed in the past and asked their forgiveness. In time, he gained the political support of Alabama’s growing African American electorate and in 1983 was elected Alabama governor for the last time with their overwhelming support. During the next four years, the man who had promised segregation forever made more African American political appointments than any other figure in Alabama history.

He announced his retirement in 1986, telling the Alabama electorate in a tearful address that “I’ve climbed my last political mountain, but there are still some personal hills I must climb. But for now, I must pass the rope and the pick to another climber and say climb on, climb on to higher heights. Climb on ’til you reach the very peak. Then look back and wave at me. I, too, will still be climbing.” He died in 1998.

READ MORE: Segregation in the United States

George Wallace's 1963 Inaugural Address

George Wallace's 1963 Inaugural Address was delivered January 14, 1963, following his election as governor of Alabama. [1] Wallace at this time in his career was an ardent segregationist, and as governor he challenged the attempts of the federal government to enforce laws prohibiting racial segregation in Alabama's public schools and other institutions. The speech is most famous for the phrase "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever", which became a rallying cry for those opposed to integration and the Civil Rights Movement. [2]

Wallace inaugurated as Alabama Governor, Jan. 14, 1963

On this day in 1963, George Wallace promised his followers “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever” as he was inaugurated Alabama’s 45th governor. Asa Carter, a Ku Klux Klan leader at the time, wrote his inaugural speech. Wallace went on to serve four gubernatorial terms.

When Wallace made his first gubernatorial bid in 1958, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People endorsed him, while the KKK backed his primary opponent, John Patterson. Wallace lost by a wide margin.

In the wake of his defeat, he told a supporter, “You know, I tried to talk about good roads and good schools and all these things that have been part of my career, and nobody listened. And then I began talking about n------, and they stomped the floor.”

In June 1963, pressure from the Kennedy administration forced Wallace to allow black students to enroll in the University of Alabama. As momentum for the civil rights movement grew across the nation, Wallace continued to speak out against racial change.

Wallace ran for the presidency on populist platforms in 1964, 1968, 1972 and 1976. In 1968, he got on the November ballot in 50 states, drawing 10 million votes nationwide. In 1972, during his third presidential try, Arthur Bremer shot him during a Maryland primary rally, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. The next day, a hospitalized Wallace won primary victories in both Maryland and Michigan.

In the 1980s, Wallace shifted his stance on race, asking black civil rights leaders to forgive him. In 1982, a growing black electorate in Alabama helped Wallace regain the governor’s mansion in Montgomery. In the ensuing four years, Wallace named more blacks to state offices than any other politician in Alabama history.

Wallace retired from politics in 1986. He died in 1998 at the age of 79.

Source: “The Politics of Rage: George Wallace, the Origins of the New Conservatism, and the Transformation of American Politics,” by Dan Carter (1995)

On this day in history, unrepentant racist George Wallace took the oath of office as the new Governor of Alabama. His inauguration speech, written by a leader of the Ku Klux Klan, promised followers “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!”

In June 1963, Wallace was famously forced to yield to federal pressure for integration and end his blockade of the University of Alabama. He became a national spokesman for resistance to racial change and in 1964 entered the race for the U.S. presidency. He ran again in 1968, drawing 10 million votes from across the country.

In 1972, Governor Wallace made his third bid for president, but was shot at a rally in Maryland. He ended up permanently paralyzed from the waist down.

After his recovery, he faded from national prominence and made a poor showing in his fourth and final presidential campaign in 1979. But then during the 1980s, he seemed to go through a radical shift in attitude. He contacted civil rights leaders asking their forgiveness, and actually gained the political support of Alabama’s growing African-American electorate. In 1983 he was elected Alabama governor for the last time with their overwhelming support. During the next four years, Wallace made more African-American political appointments than any other figure in Alabama history.

Alabama Governor George Wallace blocking desegregation of the University of Alabama in 1963

Presidential Campaigns

Wallace also harbored presidential aspirations. In 1968, he ran as an Independent candidate, supported mainly by white, working-class Southerners. In his 1972 campaign, however, he ran as a Democrat. While on the campaign trail in Maryland later that year, Wallace was shot by a would-be assassin named Arthur Bremer. His injuries left him permanently paralyzed below the waist. He managed to still complete the campaign, but ultimately lost the Democratic nomination to George McGovern (who then lost the presidential election to Richard Nixon).

In his third and final presidential attempt, in 1976, Wallace again ran as a Democrat he was defeated in the primaries by fellow Southerner Jimmy Carter.


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Lurleen Wallace, Alabama’s first woman governor, inaugurated on this day in 1967: Vintage photos

It was the largest parade in Alabama history, newspapers proclaimed, as some 150,000 people filled the streets of Montgomery to greet its newest governor.

Despite the chill in the air on Jan. 16, 1967, people from across Alabama arrived early to cheer on Lurleen Wallace, the state’s first woman governor. No other woman would hold that office until Kay Ivey, then a recent graduate of Auburn University, was sworn into office 50 years later.

“Dixie” played repeatedly and Confederate flags were all around for the celebration held in the dark days of segregation -- she took her oath with the Jefferson Davis Bible used in every Alabama inauguration since 1853.

There were 190 bands, 90 floats, dignitaries from all 67 counties and a banner greeting Alabama’s 46th governor that read: “We salute Mama Wallace.”

The political ambitions of her husband, Gov. George Wallace, seemed to overshadow the event. His four year term over, signs throughout the parade cheered him on as he planned a 1968 presidential run.

The three girls have cameras. Alabama Media Group Alabama Media Group

“I entered the race for governor for the purpose of permitting my husband to take our fight to the court of final appeals -- the people of the United States,” the 40-year-old incoming governor said that day.

Lurleen Wallace thanked the voters, led a silent prayer for those fighting in Vietnam, and as her husband had done four years earlier pledged to lead Alabama in fighting the social changes sweeping America brought about, she said, by “the egg-head verdict that ‘God is dead.’

“A federal agency attempts to tell us the schools our children shall attend, to regulate the content of their text books, who shall teach them, and with whom our children shall associate,” she said in her inaugural address. “I resent it. As your Governor and as a mother, I shall resist it.”

Lurleen and George Wallace waving from the lectern on the stage in front of the Capitol during her inauguration in Montgomery, Alabama. Alabama Media Group

She also pledged to repair the state’s roads, help the physically and mentally ill, and increase economic opportunity. “We are moving into the greatest period of opportunity in our history,” she said.

As Lurleen Wallace spoke those words, she was undoubtedly oblivious to the fact that she was dying of cancer. She would die 474 days later, her illness untreated because her husband chose to keep her 1961 diagnosis a secret from her as he pursued his political career.

She would never know George Wallace would nearly die himself five years after her inauguration, left paralyzed for life by an assassin’s bullet in 1972 while campaigning yet again for the presidency.

A button from Lurleen Wallace's inauguration in 1967. Waymon Burke, a political science professor at Calhoun Community College, said he purchased the button for $1 during the event. (photo submitted by Waymon Burke).

“The people will find a way -- they have found their way -- through the personal sacrifice of a lady whose personal courage I have never had cause to question and whose honor reflects the honor of the great people who have called upon her,” he said as he introduced his wife to the audience that day in 1967.

Her term in office was historic but brief. Here’s a look at some things you may not know about Gov. Lurleen Wallace:

Tuscaloosa native, married at 16

Lurleen Burns Wallace was a native of Tuscaloosa. She graduated high school at only 15 years old and went to work at Kresge’s Five and Dime. It was there she met law school graduate George Wallace, who was serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps, a forerunner of the U.S. Air Force. She married Wallace on May 22, 1943 when she was 16 years old. George Wallace was 24.

Lee Wallace waving. Lurleen Wallace is standing behind her. Alabama Media Group Alabama Media Group

The Wallaces had four children: Bobbi Jo Parsons, Peggy Sue Kennedy, George Wallace III and Janie Lee. Lurleen spent much of her early life dealing with her husband’s growing political career and, after his failed run for governor in 1958, she took her children and left, threatening him with divorce. Wallace begged her to return and she eventually did. The couple’s fourth child, Peggy Lee, was born in 1961 and, according to reports, was named for Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

The theme of the float is 'Million Dollar Baby - From a 5 and 10 cent Store,' a reference to a popular song ('I Found a Million Dollar Baby (in a Five and Ten Cent Store)'). Alabama Media Group Alabama Media Group

Lurleen became Alabama’s First Lady in 1963 when Wallace won his first term as governor. She opened the first floor of the governor’s mansion to tourists seven days a week and refused to serve alcohol at the executive mansion.

The theme of the float is 'Uncle Sam Is Sick!' It features a cutout of George Wallace ('The Wallace Program Can Cure Uncle Sam') and gives both a ɽiagnosis' (ɱ. Socialistic Paralysis / 2. Constitutional Breakdown / 3. Demonstration Anxiety / 4. Guidelines Colic') and a 'Prescription' (ɱ. Honesty in Government / 2. Educational Break Through / 3. Industrial Expansion / 4. Respect for Law and Order / 5. Constitutional Government / 6. Stand Up for America'). The float is an early ad for George Wallace's 1968 presidential campaign: along the side it reads 'Walker Co. for Wallace / 1958 / 1962 / 1966 / 1968.' Alabama Media Group Alabama Media Group

Wallace was prevented from running for office again due to a then-Alabama law that prevented a sitting governor from seeking a second consecutive term. He opted to put his wife, Lurleen, on the ballot in his place. In the 1966 gubernatorial election, Lurleen Wallace beat 10 opponents in the Democratic primary and went on to defeat Republican James Douglas Martin, who won two (Greene and Winston) of Alabama’s 67 counties in the general election.

The theme of the float is education, 'The Key to the Future.' A large book at the rear of the float reads, 'Stand Up for Education with the Wallace Administration.' Alabama Media Group Alabama Media Group

(1963) George Wallace, “Segregation Now, Segregation Forever”

By 1963 Alabama Governor George Corley Wallace had emerged as the leading opponent to the growing civil rights movement. Six months later he gained international notoriety for his stand in the door of the University of Alabama to block the entrance of two black students, Vivian Malone and James Hood, who had been order admitted by a federal judge. Between 1964 and 1976 Wallace ran for President four times (three as a Democrat and once as an Independent) exploiting what he believed was a deep-seated aversion to racial integration among Northerners as well as Southerners. Long before these events, he would at his inauguration as Governor on January 14, 1963, lay out his opposition to integration and the civil rights movement. His excerpted speech appears below.

Today I have stood, where once Jefferson Davis stood, and took an oath to my people. It is very appropriate then that from this Cradle of the Confederacy, this very Heart of the Great Anglo-Saxon Southland, that today we sound the drum for freedom as have our generations of forebears before us done, time and time again through history. Let us rise to the call of freedom- loving blood that is in us and send our answer to the tyranny that clanks its chains upon the South. In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny . . . and I say . . . segregation today . . . segregation tomorrow . . . segregation forever.

The Washington, D.C. school riot report is disgusting and revealing. We will not sacrifice our children to any such type school system–and you can write that down. The federal troops in Mississippi could be better used guarding the safety of the citizens of Washington, D.C., where it is even unsafe to walk or go to a ballgame–and that is the nation’s capitol. I was safer in a B-29 bomber over Japan during the war in an air raid, than the people of Washington are walking to the White House neighborhood. A closer example is Atlanta. The city officials fawn for political reasons over school integration and THEN build barricades to stop residential integration–what hypocrisy!

Let us send this message back to Washington by our representatives who are with us today– that from this day we are standing up, and the heel of tyranny does not fit the neck of an upright man . . . that we intend to take the offensive and carry our fight for freedom across the nation, wielding the balance of power we know we possess in the Southland . . . . that WE, not the insipid bloc of voters of some sections . . will determine in the next election who shall sit in the White House of these United States . . . That from this day, from this hour . . . from this minute . . . we give the word of a race of honor that we will tolerate their boot in our face no longer . . . . and let those certain judges put that in their opium pipes of power and smoke it for what it is worth.

Hear me, Southerners! You sons and daughters who have moved north and west throughout this nation . . . . we call on you from your native soil to join with us in national support and vote . . and we know . . . wherever you are . . away from the hearths of the Southland . . . that you will respond, for though you may live in the fartherest reaches of this vast country . . . . your heart has never left Dixieland.

And you native sons and daughters of old New England’s rock-ribbed patriotism . . . and you sturdy natives of the great Mid-West . . and you descendants of the far West flaming spirit of pioneer freedom . . we invite you to come and be with us . . for you are of the Southern spirit . . and the Southern philosophy . . . you are Southerners too and brothers with us in our fight.

What I have said about segregation goes double this day . . . and what I have said to or about some federal judges goes TRIPLE this day…

And while the manufacturing industries of free enterprise have been coming to our state in increasing numbers, attracted by our bountiful natural resources, our growing numbers of skilled workers and our favorable conditions, their present rate of settlement here can be increased from the trickle they now represent to a stream of enterprise and endeavor, capital and expansion that can join us in our work of development and enrichment of the educational futures of our children, the opportunities of our citizens and the fulfillment of our talents as God has given them to us. To realize our ambitions and to bring to fruition our dreams, we as Alabamians must take cognizance of the world about us. We must re-define our heritage, re-school our thoughts in the lessons our forefathers knew so well, first hand, in order to function and to grow and to prosper. We can no longer hide our head in the sand and tell ourselves that the ideology of our free fathers is not being attacked and is not being threatened by another idea . . . for it is. We are faced with an idea that if a centralized government assume enough authority, enough power over its people, that it can provide a utopian life . . that if given the power to dictate, to forbid, to require, to demand, to distribute, to edict and to judge what is best and enforce that will produce only “good” . . and it shall be our father . . . . and our God. . . .

We find we have replaced faith with fear . . . and though we may give lip service to the Almighty . . in reality, government has become our god. It is, therefore, a basically ungodly government and its appeal to the psuedo-intellectual and the politician is to change their status from servant of the people to master of the people . . . to play at being God . . . without faith in God . . . and without the wisdom of God. It is a system that is the very opposite of Christ for it feeds and encourages everything degenerate and base in our people as it assumes the responsibilities that we ourselves should assume. Its psuedo-liberal spokesmen and some Harvard advocates have never examined the logic of its substitution of what it calls “human rights” for individual rights, for its propaganda play on words has appeal for the unthinking. Its logic is totally material and irresponsible as it runs the full gamut of human desires . . . including the theory that everyone has voting rights without the spiritual responsibility of preserving freedom. Our founding fathers recognized those rights . . . but only within the framework of those spiritual responsibilities. But the strong, simple faith and sane reasoning of our founding fathers has long since been forgotten as the so-called “progressives” tell us that our Constitution was written for “horse and buggy” days . . . so were the Ten Commandments.

Not so long ago men stood in marvel and awe at the cities, the buildings, the schools, the autobahns that the government of Hitler’s Germany had built . . . just as centuries before they stood in wonder of Rome’s building . . . but it could not stand . . . for the system that built it had rotted the souls of the builders . . . and in turn . . . rotted the foundation of what God meant that men should be. Today that same system on an international scale is sweeping the world. It is the “changing world” of which we are told . . . it is called “new” and “liberal”. It is as old as the oldest dictator. It is degenerate and decadent. As the national racism of Hitler’s Germany persecuted a national minority to the whim of a national majority . . . so the international racism of the liberals seek to persecute the international white minority to the whim of the international colored majority . . . so that we are footballed about according to the favor of the Afro-Asian bloc. But the Belgian survivors of the Congo cannot present their case to a war crimes commission . . . nor the Portuguese of Angola . . . nor the survivors of Castro . . . nor the citizens of Oxford, Mississippi.

It is this theory of international power politic that led a group of men on the Supreme Court for the first time in American history to issue an edict, based not on legal precedent, but upon a volume, the editor of which said our Constitution is outdated and must be changed and the writers of which, some had admittedly belonged to as many as half a hundred communist-front organizations. It is this theory that led this same group of men to briefly bare the ungodly core of that philosophy in forbidding little school children to say a prayer. And we find the evidence of that ungodliness even in the removal of the words “in God we trust” from some of our dollars, which was placed there as like evidence by our founding fathers as the faith upon which this system of government was built. It is the spirit of power thirst that caused a President in Washington to take up Caesar’s pen and with one stroke of it make a law. A Law which the law making body of Congress refused to pass . . . a law that tells us that we can or cannot buy or sell our very homes, except by his conditions . . . and except at HIS descretion. It is the spirit of power thirst that led the same President to launch a full offensive of twenty-five thousand troops against a university . . . of all places . . . in his own country . . . and against his own people, when this nation maintains only six thousand troops in the beleagured city of Berlin. We have witnessed such acts of “might makes right” over the world as men yielded to the temptation to play God . . . but we have never before witnessed it in America. We reject such acts as free men. We do not defy, for there is nothing to defy . . . since as free men we do not recognize any government right to give freedom . . . or deny freedom. No government erected by man has that right. As Thomas Jefferson said, “The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time no King holds the right of liberty in his hands.” Nor does any ruler in American government….

We intend, quite simply, to practice the free heritage as bequeathed to us as sons of free fathers. We intend to re-vitalize the truly new and progressive form of government that is less that two hundred years old . . . a government first founded in this nation simply and purely on faith . . . that there is a personal God who rewards good and punishes evil . . . that hard work will receive its just deserts . . . that ambition and ingenuity and incentiveness . . . and profit of such . . .are admirable traits and goals . . . that the individual is encouraged in his spiritual growth and from that growth arrives at a character that enhances his charity toward others and from that character and that charity so is influenced business, and labor and farmer and government. We intend to renew our faith as God-fearing men . . . not government-fearing men nor any other kind of fearing-men. We intend to roll up our sleeves and pitch in to develop this full bounty God has given us . . . to live full and useful lives and in absolute freedom from all fear. Then can we enjoy the full richness of the Great American Dream. . . .

This nation was never meant to be a unit of one . . . but a united of the many . . . . that is the exact reason our freedom loving forefathers established the states, so as to divide the rights and powers among the states, insuring that no central power could gain master government control.

In united effort we were meant to live under this government . . . whether Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Church of Christ, or whatever one’s denomination or religious belief . . . each respecting the others right to a separate denomination . . . each, by working to develop his own, enriching the total of all our lives through united effort. And so it was meant in our political lives . . . whether Republican, Democrat, Prohibition, or whatever political party . . . each striving from his separate political station . . . respecting the rights of others to be separate and work from within their political framework . . . and each separate political station making its contribution to our lives . . . .

And so it was meant in our racial lives . . . each race, within its own framework has the freedom to teach . . to instruct . . to develop . . to ask for and receive deserved help from others of separate racial stations. This is the great freedom of our American founding fathers . . . but if we amalgamate into the one unit as advocated by the communist philosophers . . . then the enrichment of our lives . . . the freedom for our development . . . is gone forever. We become, therefore, a mongrel unit of one under a single all powerful government . . . and we stand for everything . . . and for nothing.

The true brotherhood of America, of respecting the separateness of others . . . and uniting in effort . . . has been so twisted and distorted from its original concept that there is a small wonder that communism is winning the world.

We invite the negro citizens of Alabama to work with us from his separate racial station . . . as we will work with him . . . to develop, to grow in individual freedom and enrichment. We want jobs and a good future for BOTH races . . . the tubercular and the infirm. This is the basic heritage of my religion, if which I make full practice . . . . for we are all the handiwork of God.

But we warn those, of any group, who would follow the false doctrine of communistic amalgamation that we will not surrender our system of government . . . our freedom of race and religion . . . that freedom was won at a hard price and if it requires a hard price to retain it . . . we are able . . . and quite willing to pay it.

The liberals’ theory that poverty, discrimination and lack of opportunity is the cause of communism is a false theory . . . if it were true the South would have been the biggest single communist bloc in the western hemisphere long ago . . . for after the great War Between the States, our people faced a desolate land of burned universities, destroyed crops and homes, with manpower depleted and crippled, and even the mule, which was required to work the land, was so scarce that whole communities shared one animal to make the spring plowing. There were no government handouts, no Marshall Plan aid, no coddling to make sure that our people would not suffer instead the South was set upon by the vulturous carpetbagger and federal troops, all loyal Southerners were denied the vote at the point of bayonet, so that the infamous, illegal 14th Amendment might be passed. There was no money, no food and no hope of either. But our grandfathers bent their knee only in church and bowed their head only to God. . . .

We remind all within hearing of this Southland that a Southerner, Peyton Randolph, presided over the Continental Congress in our nation’s beginning . . . that a Southerner, Thomas Jefferson, wrote the Declaration of Independence, that a Southerner, George Washington, is the Father of our country . . . that a Southerner, James Madison, authored our Constitution, that a Southerner, George Mason, authored the Bill of Rights and it was a Southerner who said, “Give me liberty . . . . . . or give me death,” Patrick Henry.
Southerners played a most magnificent part in erecting this great divinely inspired system of freedom . . . and as God is our witnesses, Southerners will save it.

Let us, as Alabamians, grasp the hand of destiny and walk out of the shadow of fear . . . and fill our divine destination. Let us not simply defend . . . but let us assume the leadership of the fight and carry our leadership across this nation. God has placed us here in this crisis . . . let is not fail in this . . . our most historical moment.

George Wallace on segregation, 1964

In 1958, George Wallace ran against John Patterson in his first gubernatorial race. In that Alabama election, Wallace refused to make race an issue, and he declined the endorsement of the Ku Klux Klan. This move won Wallace the support of the NAACP. Patterson, on the other hand, embraced Klan support, and he trounced Wallace in the election. In 1962 Wallace, having realized the power of race as a political tool, ran for governor again—this time as a proponent of segregation. He won by a landslide.

In 1964, Wallace decided to make a run for the presidency as a Democratic candidate. The first Democratic primary was held in Wisconsin. Local politicians treated Wallace’s candidacy as a joke, but Wallace shocked his critics when he received 266,000 votes—one-third of the 780,000 votes cast. On April 8, one day after the Wisconsin primary, Michigan resident Ms. Martin wrote to Wallace asking him for literature on segregation.

The sentiments expressed in Wallace’s reply stand in stark contrast to the reality of race relations in Alabama during his time as governor. Between the time of Wallace’s inauguration and his correspondence with Martin, Alabama had seen the bombings in Birmingham as well as Wallace’s face-off with federal forces over the integration of the University of Alabama.

Despite growing conflict over race and civil rights, Wallace wrote Martin that "we have never had a problem in the South except in a few very isolated instances and these have been the result of outside agitators." Wallace asserted that "I personally have done more for the Negroes of the State of Alabama than any other individual," citing job creation and the salaries of black teachers in Alabama. He rationalized segregation as "best for both races," writing that "they each prefer their own pattern of society, their own churches and their own schools." Wallace assured Martin that Alabamans were satisfied with society as it was and that the only "major friction" was created by "outside agitators." Increasing racial violence and the Civil Rights Movement, however, pointed toward a changing equilibrium in race relations in Alabama.

A full transcript is available.


White and colored have lived together in the South for generations in peace and equanimity. They each prefer their own pattern of society, their own churches and their own schools—which history and experience have proven are best for best for both races. (As stated before, outside agitators have created any major friction occurring between the races.) This is true and applies to other areas as well. People who move to the south from sections where there is not a large negro population soon realize and are most outspoken in favor of our customs once they learn for themselves that our design for living is the best for all concerned.


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