• Short Summary

    Governor George Wallace of Alabama -- wounded in an assassination attempt while he was campaigning in Maryland for the Democratic Presidential Primary on Monday (15 May) -- has been a major force in United States politics for the past decade.

  • Description

    Governor George Wallace of Alabama -- wounded in an assassination attempt while he was campaigning in Maryland for the Democratic Presidential Primary on Monday (15 May) -- has been a major force in United States politics for the past decade.

    He first sought the office of Governor of Alabama in 1958 but was soundly defeated because, it was said, he did not take a sufficiently hard line on the racial issue to please his southern state constituents.

    Determined not to face the came charge again, Wallace swept to victory as Alabama's Governor in 1962 on the slogan "Segregation now, Segregation tomorrow, Segregation for ever." Wallace has always been careful to draw a distinction between racism and segregation. The Governor says a racist is "a man who dislikes another man because he is black" while a segregationist is "a man who likes people and knows that when God made some man black and some men white he separated us himself from the beginning".

    Under state law, Wallace could remain Governor of Alabama for one term only - so in 1966 he named his wife, Lurlean, to succeed him. She won easily after repeating in her campaign speeches that she was "humbled and grateful to be the instrument through which my husband can continue as Governor".

    Lurleen died of cancer in May 1968. That year, Governor George Wallace made his first bid for the presidency as candidate for him American Independent Party. He received the millions votes in the election - the highest number ever secured by any third party candidate in United States history.

    In January 1971, Governor Wallace was again sworn in as Governor of Alabama - just a few days after marrying a Divorcee twenty years his junior.

    This year he announced his candidacy for the Democratic Party presidential nomination and won the Florida primary with ease. In subsequent primaries he has also provide a force to be reckoned with - hammering away at popular themes like law and order, the rights of states to decide their own affairs without Federal interference, and school busing. This last issue has been a major pillar of Governor Wallace's policy throughout his political career.

    SYNOPSIS: The protest against enforced racial integration and compulsory school busing have formed the basis of the policy but forward by Governor George Wallace of Alabama in the last decade. He is the 1972 presidential candidate wounded in Maryland this week during an assassination attempt. Demonstrators in 1963 supported his call to fight the integration being imposed by President Kennedy's administration in Washington. The President himself visited Alabama six months before his assassination to discuss race relations with Governor Wallace. News reports of the time say President Kennedy got a cool reception from the Governor - but Mr. Wallace was quoted as saying the meeting was "not unfriendly".

    Mr. Wallace's wife, Lurleen, succeeded him as Alabama Governor in 1966. State law did not permit Wallace to succeed himself. She was to die in office, of cancer. Two years earlier, Mr. Wallace was already talking forcefully about national politics. His concern - the role of state delegations in national elections.

    In 19687, Mr. George Wallace found wide support in the southern states when he ran for President as candidate for his American Independent Party. Wallace proclaimed there was little differences between the Republican and Democrat parties - and he offered a real choice to voters. A vigorous campaign committee - and a hectic schedule of speeches and personal appearances - ended with Mr. Wallace receiving ten million votes, the largest number ever polled for a third party candidate in the United States. Campaign workers found support for Mr. Wallace, not only in southern states, but also in the med-west and Rocky mountains states.

    Mr. Wallace found many election rallies plagued by noisy hecklers. From time to time he directed his powerful rhetoric against them.

    In January last year, Mr. Wallace was again sworn in as Governor of Alabama. With him was his bride of two-weeks, Cornelia. But his mind was still very much on national issues - and twelve months later he declared himself a candidate for Democratic Presidential nomination - to the delight of this large crowd of supporters in Florida. Florida was the scene of his first primary victory this year - and he won after a campaign in which he repeatedly attacked the government's policy of enforcing school integration through busing.

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