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Collection Title: Wallace (George C.) Speeches

Collection Number: M308

Dates: ca. 1961-1968

Volume: .9 cu.ft

Provenance: Removed from records of the USM Public Relations Department, Archives Collection, on January 20, 1984.

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical/Historical Sketch:

George Corley Wallace was born on August 25, 1919, in Clio, Alabama, the eldest child of George C. Wallace, Sr. and Mozelle (Smith) Wallace. George Wallace, Sr. was a farmer, and his earnings were sometimes meager. Consequently, George Jr. often worked at odd jobs to supplement the family's income. Following his graduation from Barbour County High School in 1937, Wallace enrolled at the University of Alabama to study law. After the death of his father in November 1937, he had to work several jobs in order to remain in school. In 1942, he graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in law, but was unable to find a position in his field. He eventually, accepted a job driving a dump truck for the State Highway Department in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. During his tenure as a truck driver, he met his future wife, Lurleen Burns, whom he married on May 23, 1943. Four children were born of the union -- two sons and two daughters.

During World War II, Wallace served in the U.S. Air Force, as a member of a B-29 bomber crew. He survived several bombing raids over Japan and was discharged in December 1945, with the rank of Flight Sergeant. Following his discharge, he returned to his family in Mobile, Alabama.

Wallace embarked on his political career in 1946, when Alabama Governor, Chauncey Sparks, hired him as an assistant attorney general. In 1947, he was elected to the Alabama State Legislature, where he served from 1947 until 1952, when he was elected Third Judicial Circuit Judge. Known as "The Fighting Little Judge", he gained notoriety for his strong stand against desegregation and his criticisms of the federal government.

In 1958, Wallace made an unsuccessful bid for governor of Alabama, but in 1962, he won the gubernatorial race by the largest margin in Alabama history. At his inauguration, he delivered his now famous "Segregation Now, Segregation Forever" address, in which he promised to resist any attempt to desegregate Alabama schools. And in June 1963, he personally blocked the entrance at the University of Alabama in an attempt to prevent African American students from enrolling.

Under Alabama law (at that time) Wallace could not succeed himself as governor, so in 1966, his wife, Lurleen, ran and was elected. Unfortunately, Mrs. Wallace died of cancer on May 7, 1968, before completing her term of office. Wallace was subsequently elected governor of Alabama in 1970 and again in 1974.

In 1964, Wallace entered the United States presidential primaries but ultimately withdrew from the race declaring that his main goal, which was making the public aware of the growing power of the federal government, had been achieved. In 1968 he ran for the presidency of the United States as an independent candidate, and polled 9.9 million votes in a losing effort. In 1972, he ran for the Democratic nomination for president, and while campaigning at a Laurel, Maryland shopping center, he was shot by Arthur Herman Bremer, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.

Wallace remarried twice after the death of his first wife, Lurleen. In 1971, he married Cornelia Ellis Sniveley, from whom he was divorced in 1978. Shortly thereafter he married Lisa Taylor, a union which also ended in divorce. At this writing, Wallace resides in Montgomery, Alabama.

Related Collections:

Citizens' Council/Civil Rights Collection, M 99

Scope and Content:

This collection consists primarily of copies of speeches prepared for delivery by Alabama Governor George C. Wallace between 1961 and 1965. Other materials in the collection include biographical information and copies of interviews, statements, and telegrams.

A biographical pamphlet entitled "George and Lurleen Wallace", which is a compilation of stories written by Asa E. "Ace" Carter, has been placed at the beginning of the collection. The pamphlet was published in approximately 1968 by the Alabama Historical Book Committee. The remainder of the collection has been divided into four series:

Series I: Speeches

Series II: Interviews

Series III: Statements

Series IV: Miscellaneous Documents

Series I contains speeches dated between 1961 and 1965, all but two of which were delivered by Alabama Governor, George C. Wallace. The exceptions are two speeches delivered at an education meeting at Montgomery, Alabama in 1965 -- one by a Dr. Rose, the other by a Mrs. Turner. Governor Wallace was a staunch segregationist, and the central theme of his speeches was the growing power of the federal government, particularly in the area of equality for African American citizens. The series includes Wallace's 1963 inaugural address, as well as addresses before the Alabama Legislature, various civic organizations, state agencies, groundbreaking ceremonies, and colleges and universities. Several of the speeches were delivered in connection with Wallace's brief entry into the 1964 presidential campaign.

Series II consists almost exclusively of radio and television interviews with Governor Wallace between 1963 and 1965. Exceptions are an interview with Senator Daniel Brewster of Maryland on the NBC-TV "Today" show (May 6, 1964), and joint interviews with Governor Wallace and Governor Philip H. Hoff of New Jersey on WNAC-TV, Boston (Nov. 3, 1963) and NBC-TV's "Meet the Press" (Oct. 25, 1964). Interviewers such as Hugh Downs ("Today"), Lawrence Spivak ("Meet the Press"), and Dan Rather (CBS-TV "Face the Nation") probe Wallace's views on civil rights, both as governor of Alabama and as a candidate for president of the United States.

Series III is comprised of statements issued between 1963 and 1965. Most were generated by Governor Wallace, and discuss such topics as use of federal troops to quell violence in Birmingham, forced integration of the University of Alabama, traffic safety, Alabama voting rights, and Wallace's opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Bill. In addition, there is a statement by nine southern governors in opposition to practices of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, and a statement of principle by a governors' group in support of the 1964 Civil Rights Bill.

Series IV contains a variety of documents dated from 1963 to 1965, including telegrams to President John Kennedy protesting use of federal troops in Birmingham, a report on Alabama public schools, testimony before the Platform Committee of the 1963 Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey, a memorandum concerning Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act (re: school desegregation), and a copy of a telegram to President Lyndon Johnson concerning the proposed civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. An additional item is the testimony of Frank Mizell before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Senate Bill 1564 (Re: Negro voter registration). Materials in all four series are arranged chronologically.

This collection should be of interest to researchers of the 1960s civil rights movement, the political climate of the 1960s, the history of Alabama, or the political posture of George C. Wallace.

Box and Folder List:

Box 1  
Folder 1 Biographical pamphlet: "George and Lurleen Wallace" (ca. 1968)
Series I: Speeches (1961-1965)
Folder 2 Speech before the Alabama Free Masons (November 21, 1961)
Folder 3 Speech delivered at Alabama Democratic dinner (October 5, 1962)
Folder 4 Governor Wallace's Inaugural Address (January 14, 1963)
Folder 5 Speech delivered at 15th anniversary of Greek Orthodox Church, Montgomery, Alabama (February 3, 1963)
Folder 6 Speech to joint session of Alabama Legislature (March 19, 1963)
Folder 7 Speech to House Ways and Means Committee, Re: Oil and gas exploration in Alabama (March 25, 1963)
Folder 8 Speech at groundbreaking for Miller's Ferry Dam site on the Alabama River (April 17, 1963)
Folder 9 Message to the Alabama State Senate (April 26, 1963)
Folder 10 Speech to joint session of Alabama Legislature (May 7, 1963)
Folder 11 Speech to Veterans of Foreign Wars Convention, Mobile, Alabama (June 28, 1963)
Folder 12 Speech before South Carolina Broadcasters Association, Re: States Rights (July 15, 1963)
Folder 13 Speech before Miami area Kiwanis Clubs July 24, 1963)
Folder 14 Speech before the Citizens' Council of Louisiana, Inc., Shreveport, Louisiana (August 10, 1963)
Folder 15 Speech delivered at Harvard University, Re: The law and separation of the races (November 4, 1963)
Folder 16 Speech delivered at Dartmouth College, Re: Brown v. Board of Education (November 5, 1963)
Folder 17 Speech delivered at Brown University: "The Southern Legal Philosophy" (November 7, 1963)
Folder 18 Speech by George C. Wallace, Re: Encroachment of Federal Government (1963)
Folder 19 Speech by George C. Wallace, Re: Brown v. Board of Education (ca. 1963)
Folder 20 Speech before Alabama Association of School Boards, Re: Financial support (ca. 1963)
Folder 21 Speech before State Safety Coordinating Committee, Re: Road safety (January 30, 1964)
Folder 22 Remarks before State Safety Coordinating Committee and Citizens Advisory Group (March 5, 1964)
Folder 23 Speech on patriotism delivered by George C. Wallace (March 1964 - 2 copies)
Folder 24 Speech before Alabama Education Association (March 1964)
Folder 25 Speech before Governor's Safety Conference, Re: Traffic safety (April 29, 1964)
Folder 26 Speech before National Press Club, Washington D.C., Re: Civil Rights Bill (June 4, 1964)
Folder 27 Speech before Cleveland, Ohio anti-Communist group, Re: Civil Rights and the Supreme Court (June 11, 1964)
Folder 28 Speech before Conservative Party of Texas, Re: Civil Rights (June 16, 1964)
Folder 29 Campaign speech delivered at Baton Rouge, Louisiana (June 17, 1964)
Folder 30 Speech before U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Dallas, Texas (June 23, 1964)
Folder 31 Speech at Mississippi State Coliseum, Jackson, Mississippi (June 25, 1964)
Folder 32 Speech at Columbia Township Auditorium, Columbia, South Carolina (June 26, 1964)
Folder 33 Speech at State Fair Grounds, Richmond, Virginia (June 27, 1964)
Folder 34 Speech at Southeastern Fairgrounds, Atlanta, Georgia (July 4, 1964)
Folder 35 Speech at Little Rock, Arkansas (July 14, 1964)
Folder 36 Speech before joint session of Alabama Legislature (August 4, 1964)
Folder 37 Speech before joint session of Alabama Legislature (August 6, 1964)
Folder 38 Commencement address at John Patterson Trade School, Montgomery, Alabama (August 14, 1964)
Folder 39 Speech at dedication of Inland Docks, Phenix City, Alabama (September 11, 1964 - 2 copies)
Folder 40 Speech before Southern Tuberculosis Conference, Atlanta, Georgia (September 16, 1964)
Folder 41 Speech before joint session of Alabama Legislature (September 21, 1964)
Folder 42 Speech before Lions International, Re: Civil Rights Bill (ca. 1964)
Box 2 (Series I: Speeches, continued)
Folder 1 Speech before Tennessee School Board Association, Nashville, Tennessee (January 7, 1965)
Folder 2 Speech before joint session of Alabama Legislature (February 16, 1965)
Folder 3 Speech before joint session of Alabama Legislature (March 18, 1965 - 2 copies)
Folder 4 Address before Alabama Education Association (March 18, 1965)
Folder 5 Speech at Alabama Farm Bureau Association, Re: Economic Growth (April 15, 1965)
Folder 6 Speech at groundbreaking of Claiborne Lock and Dam, in Alabama (April 15, 1965)
Folder 7 Message to Alabama Legislature, Regular Session (May 21, 1965)
Folder 8 Speech at Louisiana Masonic meeting, Re: Communism (June 6, 1965)
Folder 9 Speech at American Legion Convention, Huntsville, Alabama, Re: Communism (July 16, 1965)
Folder 10 Speech before special session of Alabama Legislature, Re: Reapportionment (September 9, 1965)
Folder 11 Address before New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, Re: Economic development (September 23, 1965)
Folder 12 Address before joint session of Alabama Legislature (September 30, 1965 - 2 copies)
Folder 13 Speeches at Alabama educational meeting by George Wallace, Dr. Rose, and Mrs. Turner (1965)
Series II: Interviews (1963-1965)
Folder 14 "Meet the Press": Interview with George C. Wallace (June 2, 1963)
Folder 15 Civil Rights discussion between George Wallace and Governor Philip Hoff of Vermont, on WNAC-TV, Boston (November 3, 1963)
Folder 16 NBC-TV "Today" Show: Interview with Senator Daniel Brewster of Maryland (May 6, 1964)
Folder 17 NBC-TV "Today" Show: George Wallace interviewed by Hugh Downs (May 15, 1964)
Folder 18 CBS Radio Show "Face the Nation": Interview with George Wallace (July 19, 1964)
Folder 19 NBC-TV "Meet the Press": Interviews with George Wallace and Governor Philip Hoff of Vermont (October 25, 1964)
Folder 20 CBS Radio/TV, "Face the Nation": Interview with George Wallace (March 14, 1965)
Series III: Statements (1963-1965)
Box 2 (continued)
Folder 21 Statements by George Wallace, Re: Violence and federal troops in Birmingham (May 12, 13, & 15, 1963)
Folder 22 Statement and proclamation at University of Alabama, Re: Integration of the University (June 11, 1963)
Folder 23 Statement before Senate Committee on Commerce in opposition to Senate Bill 1732 (July 15, 1963)
Folder 24 Statement before Southern Governors Conference (August 21, 1963)
Folder 25 Statement on state sovereignty (September 6, 1963)
Folder 26 Statement before House Committee on the Judiciary, Re: Prayer in schools (April 30, 1964 - 2 copies)
Folder 27 Statement of Principles by U.S. Governors, in support of civil rights legislation (June 8, 1964)
Folder 28 Statement before State Safety Coordinating Committee & Press and Broadcasters Associations, Montgomery, Alabama (September 4, 1964)
Folder 29 Statement concerning Alabama Highway Department contracts (September 12, 1964)
Folder 30 Statement before U.S. subcommittee on constitutional amendments (March 11, 1965)
Folder 31 Statement of nine southern governors, Re: Department of Health, Education, & Welfare (May 9, 1965)
Folder 32 Statement, Re: Voting rights in Alabama (August 12, 1965)
Series IV: Miscellaneous Documents (1963-1965)
Box 2 (continued)
Folder 33 Copies of telegrams to President John Kennedy, Re: Federal troops in Birmingham (May 13 & 14, 1963)
Folder 34 "Report to the People of Alabama on the Public School Situation" (September 8, 1963)
Folder 35 Testimony before the Platform Committee of the National Democratic Convention, Atlantic City, New Jersey (August 21, 1964)
Folder 36 Testimony of Hon. Frank Mizell before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Re: Negro voter registration (April 2, 1965)
Folder 37 Remarks at Governor's Traffic Safety Conference (April 14, 1965)
Folder 38 Memorandum concerning Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (April 1965)
Folder 39 Copy of telegram to President Lyndon Johnson, Re: Selma to Montgomery March (1965)


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