When George Wallace was gunned down by a would-be assassin during the presidential campaign of 1972, it seemed that his quest for the presidency was finally at an end.
More campaign scenes today
More stand in door
Wallace 1968 campaign enters hall
More 1968 scenes, shaking hands
Wallace campaign today money coming in, paraphanalia out, computers, etc.
Wallace shot in Laurel, Md. May 15, 1972
Wallace wheeled into N.C. rally, helped to stand
Wallace SOF Jones standupper
Wallace SOF Tuscaloosa, Ala. June 11, 1963
Wallace stands in schoolhouse door
Wallace prayer group scenes
More Wallace prayer scenes
Wallace therapy scenes
Wallace European trip scenes
(SOF: Wallace :19)
"Why do you want to be president? I want to be president because in the beginning I got involved and obtained a constituency that I feel I represent. And I feel that this country's survival depends upon whether or not the great middle class survives."
(SOF Wallace :07
"There's not one dime's worth of difference in the attitudes of the National Democratic Party and the Natl Republican Party.."
(SOF: Wallace :07
"Do hereby denounce and forbid this illegal and unwarranted action by the central government."
(SOF: Preacher :03)
"Thank you God, for sparing this man. We need him."
(WALLACE VOICE OVER THERAPY SCENES)
"I want you to know that I like to live too. And if you get involved in something that you're not physically up to, you're going to shorten your life. And I've been is that shadow, and that valley of the shadow myself, and I don't want to be there."
Laurel, Md. (top) May 15, 1972
Kenley Jones NBC News Montgomery, Ala.
Tuscaloosa, Ala (at Black & white) June 11, 1963
Public Works Program For Jobs
Profit Forced Busing
Federal Loan Guarantees
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: When George Wallace was gunned down by a would-be assassin during the presidential campaign of 1972, it seemed that his quest for the presidency was finally at an end.
One of the four bullets which struck him severed his spinal cord, and left him paralysed from the waist down.
But within a year Wallace was being Wheeled back into political arenas, and strapped into standing position to make speeches.
He was fond of saying that while he might not be able to walk, he could still run in 1976 -- and today in Montgomery he made it official.
This is the fourth time that Wallace has run for President using the Alabama governor's office as a base. His first campaign was back in 1964, the after his stand in the schoolhouse door.
Wallace's resistance to a federal court order to enrol black students at the University of Alabama made him a symbol for those who opposed integration.
Detractors called him a racist. But Wallace argued that he was standing up for states rights, and in 1964 he campaigned on that issue in three presidential primaries.
By 1968 Wallace had a national following, and he ran for president as a candidate of the American Independent Party. He said the Democrats and Republication, who has joined together to pass civil right laws, were too much alike.
Wallace carried five states in 1968 not an impressive accomplishment in itself. But in a close election Wallace almost would up with the balance of power, through his electoral votes, in deciding which major party candidate won. He proved to professional politicians that he had a sizable hard core of support.
The Democrats have even more reason to take Wallace seriously in 1976. His campaign, with the help of computers and sophisticated direct-mail techniques, is better organized and better financed than ever before.
Changes in the rules for selection of delegates to the Democratic Convention are also in Wallace's favour.
If Wallace goes to the Convention with a large bloc of committed delegates -- even if he can't win the nomination -- he may hold the balance of power in deciding who the Democratic nominees of president and vice-president will be. Or he may decide to run on a third party ticket again.
Tax relief for the middle class, and plugging tax loopholes for the rich, will be a plank in the Wallace presidential platform. On other issues:
Unemployment: Wallace supports a public works program for a limited time to provide jobs.
Busing: He would support constitutional amendment to prohibit forced school busing, and calls for a return to freedom of choice for school enrolment.
New York: Although he is critical of what he calls New York City's liberal give a way programs, Wallace supports federal loan guarantees for the city. He ways default would cause financial problems elsewhere.
But the major issue in the Wallace campaign will be his health. He does exercise each morning to keep in shape, and insist that he is physically fit to be president.
Last month Wallace made a trip to Europe -- party to improve his image in the field of foreign affairs, and partly to show that he has the stamina to make such a trip.
But his schedule was arranged to give him plenty of time for rest. He must still convince sceptics that he could meet the gruelling physical schedule demanded of a president in office.
At one of his last public appearances before making his announcement today, Wallace attended a meeting of a gospel fellowship organization at which a prayer was said for his good health.
Of all the announced candidates, Wallace arouses the strongest emotions.
This may well be the last time that he will run for President. A lot of people are praying that this time, finally, he will win.
But there are also a lot of people who are praying that he won't.
Kenley Jones, NBC News, Montgomery, Alabama.
governor george corley wallace of alabama threw his hat officially in the ring today: he made a formal announcement that he would try for the democratic presidential nomination next year.
Wallace said he will not run in the new hampshire primary (where other candidates have been campaigning), but that he'll be in the masachusetts primary on the second of march.
He said he is tired of hearing questions about his health, and said he would consider submitting to an independent medical examination if all other candidates would do the same.
Kenley jones of our staff covers governor wallace, and we asked him to prepare the following profile...