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Wallace Rally in Fort Worth (1968)

KPRC-TV

Sound | 1968

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  •  Protesters near a campaign rally for third-party presidential candidate George Wallace 
  •  Protesters heckle Wallace supporters by performing a mock-Nazi salute. Wallace rose to national prominence through his opposition to racial integration as governor of Alabama. In 1963, he blocked the entrance to Foster Auditorium at the University of Alabama in a symbolic attempt to prevent two African-American students from enrolling. The incident, later known as the “Stand in the Schoolhouse Door,” prompted President John F. Kennedy to federalize the Alabama National Guard to command Wallace to step aside. 
  •  Surrounded by security officers, Wallace arrives at the rally in Burnett Park 
  •  Wallace rejects accusations of racism, citing African-American support of his first wife’s campaign for governor. Elected in 1966, Lurleen Wallace was Alabama’s first female governor. She ran as a surrogate candidate for her husband, who was legally prevented from seeking reelection. Lurleen Wallace died in office in 1968. 
 
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This news segment for Houston’s KPRC-TV captures a campaign rally for third-party presidential candidate George Wallace in Fort Worth on October 17, 1968. An estimated 9,000 to 12,000 supporters fill Burnett Park to cheer the American Independent Party nominee. The event also draws numerous protesters. Some hold signs admonishing Wallace for his segregationist views, while others perform mock-Nazi salutes to heckle his supporters. Once on stage, Wallace rejects accusations of racism, citing African-American support for the gubernatorial bid of his first wife, Lurleen Wallace. George Wallace did not expect to win the presidency, but sought to garner enough electoral votes to prevent either major party candidate from winning the necessary majority. The House of Representatives would then decide the election, and Wallace hoped that southern states could use their influence to halt federal desegregation efforts. Wallace won five states, amassing 46 Electoral College votes. (Despite his efforts, Texas went for Democrat Hubert Humphrey.) Republican nominee Richard Nixon nevertheless acquired enough electoral votes, 301, to win the election.