Tag Archive for Selma

Before final Selma march, LBJ agrees JFK needed more protection

Today, March 21, 2015, marks the 50th anniversary of the final of the three historic Selma-to-Montgomery marches protesting voting discrimination in the South.

During the first march, held March 7, the nation was shocked as it bore witness to the unchecked brutality Alabama state troopers unleashed upon peaceful marchers. The violence resulted in 2,000 U.S. troops joining 1,900 members of the Alabama National Guard to keep the peace during the final day of protest.

But in the lead up to that day, President Lyndon Johnson had to lobby Alabama Governor George Wallace to call up the National Guard. In this March 18, 1965, phone call, Wallace insists that state authorities could handle the situation, while allowing that he couldn’t promise that “nobody’s gonna get hit by a rock.”

He uses the JFK assassination to make his point (begins at the 11:00 minute mark):

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LBJ and ‘Selma’: Who gets it right?

Civil rights legislator

According to historian David Kaiser, writing in TIME,  “the portrayal of Lyndon Johnson and his role in the passage of the Voting Rights Act [in the movie “Selma”] could hardly be more wrong. And this is important not merely for the sake of fidelity to the past, but because of continuing implications for how we see our racial problems and how they could be solved.”

But, according to author Philip Nelson, Selma gets LBJ dead right. Writing in Op-Ed News, Nelson and  right-wing political consultant Roger Stone assert:

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