Governor George Wallace of Alabama (Southern United States) flew to Baltimore, Maryland (mid-Atlantic region) yesterday (12 September) to appear in a televised panel program.
Governor George Wallace of Alabama (Southern United States) flew to Baltimore, Maryland (mid-Atlantic region) yesterday (12 September) to appear in a televised panel program. When he arrived at the Baltimore Airport, he was greeted by a number of demonstrators supporting his stand on segregation. Later, outside his motel, a pro-integration picketline was disrupted by segregationist groups.
Wallace is the militantly pro-segregationist governor of Alabama who promised to "stand in the school house door" to prevent integration. Most recently he attempted to keep Negro children from entering previously all-white public elementary schools in three Alabama cities in defiance of federal court orders requiring that they be admitted. His defiance collapsed in the face of injunctions and other action by the Federal government...but he proved once again that he is a firm believer in segregation. It is widely believed that the Governor is convinced that his political future depends on his advocacy of segregation.
Wallace seemed pleased by the modest crowd that turned out to cheer him at Baltimore's Friendship Airport, although many of its members were well below voting age. Later, outside his motel, a line of pickets demonstrated to protest the slaying early this year of William Moore, a postal employee shot to death in Alabama while participating in an anti-segregation "freedom march." A group of teenagers, carrying pro-segregation signs joined the pickets and disrupted them.
The Governor, when he arrived, stood outside the motel greeting well-wishers. Later, he held an informal press conference at which he said integration of Alabama schools by federal court order represented an unwarranted interference in local affairs by Washington. The Governor indicated that...in his view...recent civil rights demonstrations have been inspired by Communist agents.
At another press conference on Friday morning (13 September) Governor Wallace expressed interest in entering several presidential primary elections, including the one in Maryland. His aim, he said would be to rally what he called "voter resentment" against the Kennedy administration.
The primary elections in which Wallace plans to run are held in several states prior to the general election in the fall of 1954. Their result is not normally binding, but the outcome is watched by party leaders as a guide in selecting the party's nominee in the general election. Wallace is given no change at all of actually being nominated by one of the major parties.