On this day in 1963 Alabama Governor George C. Wallace stood at the door of the Foster Auditorium at the University of Alabama in an attempt to block two black students, Vivian Malone and James Hood, from attending the University of Alabama. Later in the day they were accompanied by federalized National Guard troops and were able to register. Wallace would be a hero in some circles for his stance. Wallace was an interesting character. An outstanding book on Wallace came out in 1995 “George Wallace “American Populist” well worth reading. He was a complex person. At first he couldn’t get elected because he was too soft on the race issue, then he changed so he could get elected, by the end of his career when he won his last term as governor of Alabama he won largely because of the support of African-Americans.
Governor Wallace was surely on the wrong side of history that day in the summer of 1963.