tv 1965 Voting Rights Rally CSPAN March 30, 2015 9:08pm-12:00am EDT
you've been watching american history in prime time. american history tv. 48 hours of people and events telling the american story. hear historic speeches by national leaders and eyewitness accounts of events that shaped our nation. visit museums and american history tv all weekend and every weekend on c-span3. and our prime time presentation continues tuesday night with a look at the 50 thd 150th anniversary abraham lincoln's second inaugural.
>> woodie gutherie is most famous for writing this land is your land. he was born in oklahoma and we are very proud to have his work back in oklahoma where we think it belongs. he was an advocate for people who were disenfranchised. for those people who were migrant workers from oklahoma kansas and texas during the era who have found them else in california, literally starving.
>> woodie recorded very few songs of his own. we have a listening station that features 46 of his songs in his own voice. that's what makes the recordings that he did make so significant and so important to us. >> watch all of our events from tulsa saturday, at noon eastern on c-span2's book tv and sunday on american history tv on c-span3. that day, march 7, became known as bloody sunday. 18 days later, with armed protection of the u.s. army and
alabama national guard provided on the orders of president joan son, the protesters completed the four-day march from selma, the alabama state capitol. up next three hours of abc news coverage from march 25th 1965, of the end of the march and rally in montgomery. this program includes news anchor commentary musical performances and speeches. >> this particular time range anywhere from 6-12,000. estimates will not be known and their programs get underway.
>> if there is a confrontation today, it will begin at this door. at the moment you see a line of conservation employees immediately in front of that door and, also state legislators are there. this door overlooks the speakers' platform where dr. martin luther king will make the keynote address following civil rights leaders including dr. ralph bunch, roy wilkins and john lewis. one stands in the front door this is their view of dexter avenue. this is the baptist church where dr. martin luther king was pastor ten years ago.
in the block between that church and the capital building is the alabama public safety building where the colonel's office is located on the ground floor level. and the heavy concentration with military police are between public safety building and the capital. the marchs kwont to stream forward toward the capital, now expected to arrive here perhaps as soon as 30 minutes from now. they are on mobile street at this moment. shortly, they will turn onto montgomery and then onto dexter and then to the capital, a half mile away. numbering in the thousands, the weather here is overcast. we've had intermittent rains today, however, none has fallen within the past 90 minutes.
>> we'll be back shortly with more coverage. right now, this is martin at the state capitol in montgomery, alabama. >> this is murphy martin in montgomery. the front ranks of the marchers thou and strong now less than a half mile from the capital building proceeding here under a heavy air cover as they have made the trip from selma to montgomery helicopters, u.s. air force, u.s. army overhead above the marchers as they proceed to the capitol. on the capitol steps, alabama
servicemen have taken up positions at the lower level of the capital steps. at the top, alabama legislators are there. we'll be back in a few moments. this is murphy martin, abc news, montgomery. leading the march is dr. martin luther king. overhead the air cover from the united states military services.
and, at this moment it appears that exactly four days to the minute, from the time these marchers left selma alabama on sunday afternoon, they will arrive at the steps of the state capital. the front ranks of the marchers. arriving at the state capital, dr. martin luther king peering over to the church that he pastored just ten years ago.
down on the steps of the capitol building you see the alabama conservation servicemen. they are blocking the entrance to the state capitol. the speakers platform is located about 50 feet immediately in front of those state conservation servicemen. ntsds, in his aufgs, alabama governor george c. wallace.
we visited with him last night and there are strong indications that if an all-alabama delegation leaves this group of marchers and proceeds to the capitol door with a petition governor george wallace will see that delegation. numerous well-known civil rights leaders will be addressing the thousands in this march.
on the steps of the capitol building, of course you have the state legislators wo are now moving forth to gain better vantage point. in so doing, for the moment, seemed to block our vision. however, the marchers are proceeding forward. this is live march 30 not only in the state of alabama, but throughout these united states. saying that they should be allowed to make this 50 mile trip and do so with complete protection from the alabama authorities.
but all of the male employees are on the job as usual. the legislators are on the capitol steps at the present time. this is the view of the capitol from the marcher's vantage point. they see the flag of the alabama state flag and the flag of the confederates. the united states flag is flying on the south lawn as usual alone, high atop a standard there. a number of plain clothed law enforcement officers primarily u.s. marshals and f.b.i. men are in this area as they have been through the this trip.
the marchers are now passing the first con tin jebt. gent. and if they reach that platform in six minutes, they will have made the trip in exactly four days to the minute. a distance of some four miles. no one has yet come up with an exact estimate of the number involved in this march. they start to spread out. a distance of some 100 yards in
to my right, a statue of the first president of the confederacy. and a jet at an at tud less than 1,00 feet just zoomed over the capitol. no one has yet mounted the speakers' platform at least none of the speakers have yet mounted that platform. it would seem that at the moment, some marchers are holding up some 50 foot from the platform to allow photographers to snap those pictures that they've been waiting for for some time. and as the front ranks spill out, more marchers still coming.
this march left selma and more than 4,000 people stepped off the first agt miles on a four-lane portion of the u.s. highway 8 0e. on monday, about a thousand marchers began the day with their numbers decreased to about 300. when they reached the two-lane portion of the highway. 16 miles covered on monday. yesterday, they concluded the march and reached the city of montgomery proper. and this morning in 90 minutes, they covered the four miles from st. jude's to the capitol. live from montgomery, alabama,
foreman, chairman of corps. dr. martin luther king, jr. consultation in front of the speaker's platform as the marchers continue to stream onto dexter avenue one-half mile away turning off montgomery street. the trip from st. jude's to the capitol here this morning primarily traveled through the heart of the negro district of montgomery and then into downtown proper. alabama conservation workers. and a number of spectators above them, many of them who work inside the state capitol building.
he's looking away from the area in which the speakers will occupy. there's a good chance that an all-alabama delegation moves forward with the petition. but governor wallace will accept this petition and tell people that he'll be happy to discuss the issues with them at any time after this demonstration. he has long since been on public record saying his door is always open to alabama residents. anyone in the state of alabama.
>> this program was scheduled to get underway at 11:30. however, it is now 10 minutes before 1:00 montgomery time and the program has not yet gotten underway. the program was slated for three hours. they can go directly through the presentation of the marchers by the reverend andrew young. among those in that crowd we mentioned one earlier, jim ledderer.
he says he thinks he lost about 12 pounds. also in the group the roman catholic nun from kansas with whom we spoke along with in the group. joe young, from atlanta the head of the community relations service marched shortly from the trip from selma to montgomery as did quite a few other prominent names in these united states.
the entertainers joining in yesterday. she, too marched alongside her husband. the trip was made without incident. the fear of violence that had been mentioned which caused the national guard to be sent here and oversee this march. the speakers are now mounting the platform. we see dr. abernathy, fred shuttlesworth, from the rear of the stage they are mounting.
james foreman, the executive secretary wearing overalls and the tie cl which is his normal dress when carrying out civil rights work. entertainers are now moving toward the center of the stage. peeter paul and mary on stage. the marchers are a half mile away still streaming in off of montgomery street onto dexter.
be free ♪ ♪ how many times can a man turn his head and pretend that he just doesn't see ♪ ♪ the answer, my friend is blowing in the wind ♪ ♪ the answer is blowing in the wind ♪ ♪ how many times must a man look up before he can see the sky ♪ ♪ how many years must one man have before he can hear people cry ♪ ♪ how many deaths will it take
until he knows that too many people have died ♪ ♪ the answer my friend is blowing in the wind ♪ ♪ the answer is blowing in the wind ♪♪ >> as the entertainment continues down on the podium, we look down dexter avenue toward montgomery street and we see the marchers are still filing in this direction. we understand that they almost reach still to st. jude where the marchers stayed last night, marching in this direction. with me is ev asterwal.
hallelujah ♪ ♪ row the boat ashore, hallelujah ♪ ♪ michael row the boat ashore hallelujah ♪ ♪ michael row the boat ashore, hallelujah ♪ ♪ michael, row the boat ashore hallelujah ♪ ♪ did you hear what jonah said, hallelujah ♪ ♪ when the world thought he was dead hallelujah ♪ ♪ i was taken me a ride hallelujah, in that big old whale's inside hallelujah ♪ ♪ so michael, row the boat ashore hallelujah ♪
♪ michael row the boat ashore, hallelujah hallelujah ♪ ♪ michael row the boat ashore hallelujah ♪ ♪ michael, row the boat ashore, hallelujah ♪ ♪ they nailed jesus to the cross, hallelujah ♪ ♪ but his faith was never lost, hallelujah ♪ ♪ so christian soldiers off to war, hallelujah ♪ ♪ hold that line, hallelujah ♪ ♪ like joshua at jericho hallelujah ♪ ♪ alabama is next to go
hallelujah ♪ ♪ so mississippi, kneel and pray hallelujah ♪ ♪ all us marchers on the way, hallelujah ♪ ♪ so michael, row the boat ashore hallelujah ♪ ♪ michael, row the boat ashore, hallelujah ♪ ♪ michael row the boat ashore, hallelujah ♪ ♪ michael row the boat ashore, hallelujah ♪ >> reverend andrew young.
[ applause ] >> that was harry belafonte turning the proceedings over to the reverend andrew young. >> please attempt to come to the platform immediately, rabbi maurice eisendraft. friends, members of the alabama state legislature governor george wallace -- [ cheers & applause ] -- i come to present to you marches from throughout the state of alabama from throughout the united states and from throughout the world who come to make their claim for a
share in representation in the government of alabama. [ cheers & applause ] three hundred young marchers some very rich, some very poor most very poor, some very old, most very young, some officials in the government of the united states in the peace corps, others officials of state governments come as a silent but powerful revolutionary force to reshape the government of alabama and remove racism from its midst. [ cheers & applause ] this is a revolution that won't
fire a shot. we won't break a window, we won't even curse anybody. we only come with the power of our souls and the presence of our bodies to love the hell out of the state of alabama. [ cheers & applause ] and so our feet may be sore our bodies may be aching but we come to say we want to vote now. we come to warn you that in a few years some of you will be in the cotton patch and some of us will be in the state house. [ cheers & applause ] and so i'd like to present the 300 marchers that walk the 50 miles from selma alabama to montgomery, alabama. won't you stand?
[ cheers & applause ] and now i'd like to introduce one of the men who started this march to montgomery ten years ago when he responded in faith and in nonviolence to an incident which occurred on a montgomery city bus. this minister has been in the number two position, but in the freedom movement all positions are important. and the number two position in many respects is the most important. there could be no moses without an aaron. and so i'd like to present to you the strong right arm of
crystal clear to mr. george c. wallace, the governor of the state of alabama that we want our freedom and we want it now. [ cheers & applause ] this is an historic spot. for it is the cradle of the confederacy. but not only is it the cradle of the confederacy, it is the cradle of freedom. for it was in this city that martin luther king led 50,000 feet and walking the streets for 381 days until the sagging walls of segregation crumbled on the city buses.
[ cheers & applause ] and so we are back here today to say to old man jim you must go. [ cheers & applause ] we come from as far away on the west as the pacific. as far away on the east as the atlantic. as far away on the south as the gulf of mexico. as far away on the north as the snow capped slopes of canada. and there are delegations here from foreign countries. some of us are black some are white. some are rich, some are poor.
>> some are catholics. some are protestants, some are jews. some of agnostics others are atheists. some are now believers. but we're all the children of god and we're all determined to be free. we come because there is a sickness in this nation and because alabama is sick and it is our hope today that we will perform an operation on the heart of alabama so that alabama, the state of injustice may become the free state of alabama and all of god's children may stand up and enjoy
the blessings of this land. let us now stand on our feet and let us look toward the stars and the stripes, not the confederate flag, not the flag of a dead and never to be revived order. but the flag of the united states of america. [ cheers & applause ] while mrs. christine king ferris, the sister of martin luther king, and mrs. martin luther king, the wife of our
leader will lead us in the singing of the national anthem. ♪ o say, can you see by the dawn's early light ♪ ♪ what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming? ♪ ♪ whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight ♪ ♪ o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming? ♪ ♪ and the rockets' red glare
that greet distinguished theologian the president of the san francisco theological seminary and who walked from brown chapel all the way to this spot the reverend dr. theodore gill will pronounce the invocation. >> may i pray first for myself and my brothers on the steps behind us and in the windows around us and the prayer is not mine father in heaven forgive us our trespasses amen. and now for all of us, god of
all nations bless this nation, use to its strength and beauty the justice we walked for in these days. spread to the ends of the earth the love we have lived in and lived in on the road. and bless to us all this occasion that we may be more adequate to every occasion for jesus sake amen. >> montgomery governor george c. wallace has just issued a message saying he will not see any group of citizens whatsoever until after this demonstration and march has concluded and disbursed disbursed. when this is done he will see any group of citizens from the state of alabama were murphy martin, abc montgomery. >> now we are back to the leaders of the state of alabama.
that magnificent leader from tuscaloosa where the university of alabama is located. the reverend g.y. rogers. >> to my leader, dr. martin luther king, jr., to my fellow freedom fighters from all over the world, to my governor who stood in the door of the schoolhouse at the university of alabama, tuscaloosa alabama, is in montgomery today and we are here to stand in the door of the alabama state capital. [ cheers & applause ]
we are here today because we are not satisfied in tuscaloosa. we want the governor of our state to know that there are black folk in alabama who are tired of the foot of oppression on their necks. we want the governor of our state to know that police brutality, even in tuscaloosa is not extent. we want the governor of our state to know that we have not forgotten the struggles of our forefathers. that we shall walk not only from selma to montgomery, but from every village in the state of alabama to this state capital until every black man has thrown off the shackles or segregation and discrimination. [ cheers & applause ]
>> there is a man here today who met a bull on the streets of birmingham, alabama. and he had an encounter with him. and when he got through he had changed this man from a bull into a steer. i present to you now that great champion of human rights freddie lee shuttlesworth. >> thank you, dr. abernathy and my leader dr. king, distinguished guests from everywhere. god bless you. it's good to be here.
i just have one or two things to say. one of them is i'm a little sorrowful that i'm not close enough to the capital. i think the spot where jeff davis stood is up there. and that's where i wanted to get today. but maybe dr. king wants to get that spot next time so we'll save that until the next time. i want to follow my leader. and then the next things that's bothering me i don't know whether lbj is going to get the brother get away with it but i don't see any american flags flying on this state capital building. [ cheers & applause ] i believe that this is about the only state capital that is not flying the american flag at this time. i see the alabama flag and i salute that because i'm an
alabamian. but that other thing they got under there, they ought to put that to rest. we thought we were through with that 100 years ago. [ cheers & applause ] we have come here today after treading a rough and rocky pathway of abuse and misuse of trial and tribulation, of horrible and acts perpetrated upon us by society which was jailed men women and children seeking to be free while keeping dishonest men in office. a society where allows horses feet billy clubs of its officers and tear gas to stop legitimate and orderly marches toward freedom. but we're here just to same. and i think connor intended to give joy somed a vase but he didn't get to him before march 7th. you see, we sent bull from
birmingham and he's down here. he didn't get a chance to talk to george. he would have told them george, you can't stop them from marching. for god's sake, let them move. this is a nonviolent movement and in a nonviolent movement you have to be nice even to your enemy. and i have to say something good that i think governor wallace is thinking. i think he's thinking, my god, i'm sorry i didn't let them come across the bridge. i'm supposed to bring greetings from birmingham, alabama. and birmingham is a magic city where tragic events always happen. oppression reigns on one hand and willful neglect on the other. its policy used to be when bull was in, if the mobs don't stop negro, the police will. and in f the police miss you,
the courts will finally get you. these was the hectic days of bull. mr. con lore who-- mr. connor i think he brought that down to brother george. now since we've turned mr. connor without we've got a mayor that's not quite a bull but he's a crying mayor. and he thinks that you can substitute tears for positive action. and the philosophy now seems to be now don't act bad like you used to act, but don't go any further than you to go and don't do any more than you must go and act like it tears when you know it ain't. and because he is crying, the klansman hasn't let up on him.
we're going to have to demonstrating like helr in alabama because we're tired of the dynamite. there's too many of us still not voting. i shant take time to go into statistics. voter registration policy let many come but let few pass. they still use a test a california lawyer can't pass. still use petty criminal offenses. for instance if you've had a few lottery tickets, you're a convict. and if you've had too many drivers offenses when demonstrations were going on you still couldn't qualify. in other words if you've been around the jail too much you can't have good character. still too receive letters, you did not pass, no reason why. there are still such questions asking about women when they go
down. how long have you been married and how old is your first child. in other words, be sure you weren't pregnant when you got married. and if by chance you're single and divorced, be sure to carry your divorce papers. you see this is still taxation without representation. and we think the people ought to vote. i am not responsible for what my mother did or how she did what she did before i got here. i am a citizen and all persons of the constitution are born and naturalized are citizens of these united states. and no state shall make any law which abridges the immunity of any citizen. i'm glad to be here today to join in with dr. king, abernathy and all of these greats from all over the country and some of the greet negros in this area that
rise up. i'm glad to be here. brother wallace, we're here today. and if you don't hurry up and act right, we will be back. [ applause ] now in 1964 we had a great campaign slogan. all the way with lbj. i think it's time for us to keep on wagging until lbj goes all the way with us here in alabama. we don't want just a few sources to get us to the capital. but we want to get inside the capital. we want to get inside this beautiful office building over here and get some jobs. we're tired of negros carrying papers that somebody else wrote on. we want some jobs and we're not going to be satisfied until we get them. [ cheers & applause ] >> thanks you, dr.
shuttlesworth. and now we will have the response of the movement by that great tactician that great strategist, that great nonviolent leader who came out of the wilderness of mississippi to the swamp of alabama. reverend james bevel. [ cheers & applause ] thank you very much. i'm kind of tired. we walked all the way from selma and we've been in a fight over there for eight weeks before we start walking. now we need to talk about what
do we do when we get off the march. it's a great thing to celebrate. and negros are great folks to celebrate. we celebrate everything. but we don't want to get riled up celebrating something that has never happened yet. now we came here to tell mr. wallace a few things and to tell the nation some things and to tell ourselves some things. in the state of alabama, 34% of the citizens are black citizens and yet no citizens serve in any responsible position in any place in the state government. that's an indictment on the intelligence of the leader of alabama for not raising the issue that men must participate in the government. if the right to participate in government was good for george washington back in 1775, it must
be good for negro people in 1965. in most of the counties except one county negros are not serving in any respected capacity in all of the large cities of the state of alabama and most of the counties. negros are not serving in any elected capacity. they have been robbed of all political participation. and we are here to tell mr. wallace and mr. johnson we know that the state government, the federal government was a party in this franchise of the negro people and we're not going to tolerate being disfranchised and without voice in a government when we are taxed. and we want them to know that and understand that. and all of the negros of alabama must know and feel that not only must we cheer people in selma
for marching but we must march in every county in alabama until every negro is registered in alabama. now mr. wallace think we're going home. he think it's all over. but we want him to understand that if we come back, and we plan to come back we don't plan to go home after two hours. mr. wallace has disfranchised and part of the political system that is still disfranchising negro people. and this system must be broken. a few years ago we were in birmingham, alabama and four little girls were killed 37 and they was killed by the local government because they were irresponsible to negro citizens. most of the murders perpetrated against negro people in alabama is perpetrated by the state
governments of alabama, state county and city. and the only way we can correct that is not by cussing out wallace but by being participants in government by electing officials who will in fact respect the sacredness of all of the citizens. we can't do that by making kind remarks and statements. we have to the that by getting back in your townties making sure your movements are on the road. we have thousands of negros that must be put on the books. we have thousands of negros that haven't heard that a freedom movement is going on in the alabama. we have thousands of people who don't know about the march on montgomery. we have a lot of work to do. we have a lot of work to do back in the counties and we plan to be back in the counties marching negros by the thousands on the courthouse in every county.
and if mr. wallace does not plan to comply with the bill in congress, we'll be back to see mr. wallace. i don't think he's going to comply because in 1954 the supreme court of the united states said segregation was immoral and wrong and mr. wallace in alabama has not complied yet. and i suspect mr. wallace can get ready for september because we plan to march on schools in september in alabama. [ cheers & applause ] and i suspect that there's going to be a lot more demonstrations in alabama until the negro people can fully participate in the government. and i want you to know, i'm not interested in standing out here in the rain. i'm interested in being a state senator from alabama. i'm not interested in protesting on the steps. i see these policeman stand tlg to keep us out. but they know we have seats inside there. we have 74% of the seats in that
capital belonging to negro people of alabama and we want those seats. [ cheers & applause ] and we are going to keep on moving and demonstrating until we get our seats in that capital. we don't want the steps. we want the capital. >> thank you, reverend bevel. the eyes of the world are upon us and upon alabama. let us hear now from a man who can tell us how it looks. the winner of the nobel peace prize, champion of human rights under secretary of the united
nations, dr. ralph bunch. [ applause ] >> fellow americans courageous americans, americans who have the guts to take the stand on the greatest moral issue in this nation. not much i can say but by god, we're here. and a little more deeply said because no words could ever hope to be as eloquent as this magnificent historic march itself has been. and this has been made possible by the superlative leadership of dr. king and his able associates. when i was walking along with dr. king this morning, i said to him that this must be his
greatest triumph. in the light of all of the obstacles that he had to overcome. and he admitted that it was. and incidentally i would say to you what you already must know. he's not only a great leader, dr. king, but he's also quite a walker. he walks with such ease with a stort of slinky stride real cool like, that i got the impression that maybe he was getting a little help from the lord. but i was very sure that the lord wasn't helping my legs any. governor wallace and some others in these parts denounce many of us who are here, and that includes me, as being outsiders
meddlers and i soutly deny this. i'm here and i wish governor wallace to know it because i belong her. [ applause ]e. [ applause ] hiem here because as an american an american with a conscience, a sense of justice and decency and with a deep concern for all americans and the problems all over this country my conscience and my mind tell me that this is where i must be. i came here to identify, to identify with the just cause of the right of every negro in alabama, not who as governor
wallace said not long ago is qualified, which i think is one of the most so fistic statements that has ever been made. but every negro who wishes to vote must vote, must have that right. and as our president himself has said every american should identify with that cause. i say to governor wallace, no american can ever be an outsider anywhere in this nation. and governor -- [ applause ] -- all of these people out here all of these people who have come in this great phalanx are very great americans. black and white, they are the
greatest americans. why? because they seek to bring unity, to bring maximum strength to this country. to the end that the united states of america may become as it can become, white and black together the greatest society not of contemporary times but in the whole history of mankind. unless the governor has forgotten it -- and when i look up on top of the capital build building building, it appears that he and some others have forgotten it. alabama lost its attempt to lead this union. [ cheers & applause ] that flag should have been down 100 years ago. [ cheers & applause ] and i may say that i feel discomfort in fact i feel a
little traitorest to my country standing here in the shadow of that flag. if governor wallace or anyone else doubted that two southern causes have been forever lost the cause of the confederacy and the inhuman un-american attempt to keep negro citizens suppressed and oppressed all doubts of that had to be dissipated this morning when we marched through confederate square as it was called i understand during the centennial singing "we shall overcome." and now what we are doing here is an all american attack on an all-american problem. and in the united nations we have known from the beginning
that secure foundations for peace in the world can be built only upon the principles and practices of equal rights and status for all people's respect and dignity for all men wherever they are, whatever their color or race or religion or culture. the world is overwhelmingly with us in this struggle in this cause of that you may be assured. and when i went back to new york last monday and encountered delegates to the united nations individually and in meetings, everywhere the ritual was the same. first and foremost they wanted to know every detail about what was going on down here. and this took precedence over
all u.n. business. well now in conclusion may i say that it was unfortunate in my view that this nonviolent peaceable march had to be protected by the federal government. but since that was the case since the government of this state was in default, then it was an expression of the firm determination of the national government to protect the human rights of all of its citizens that led to the federalization of the lamb national guard and the protection that was given. but i would like to give one, just one word of advice to my national government. if they ever have to undertake this sort of responsibility again. the next time when they
federalize a state national guard, i hope they will make sure that members of that guard are not wearing confederate flags on their jackets. [ cheers & applause ] well there's a great old song saying there'll be some changes made. well our presence here today in this vast multitude testifies that some changes have been made in alabama and testifies that a whole lot more changes, important and radical changes are going to be made and very quickly. i salute every one of you for expressing by your presence here the finest in the american
tradition. you are in truth the modern day version of minute men, minutemen of the american conscience. you have written a great new chapter in the heroic history of american freedom. thank you. [ applause ] >> thank you, dr. bunch. and now i must insist that all of our speakers will cut their remarks. please cut them in half. and i present now the executive secretary of the student nonviolent coordinating committee, dr. jim foreman. [ applause ] mr. foreman will take one minute
to make a presentation. >> thank you. i'll try to keep it less than a minute. what i want to say basically ghm that in 1901 the state government of alabama became an undemocratic and totalitarian government. and one of the ways that you maintain that is to keep a police force. and i just want to address my remark to the police situation right here in montgomery. because today there's some 65 students who are in jail who have been on a hunger strike since last thursday. about 75 more students who are on the hunger strike got out yesterday extremely famished and physically unable to continue the hunger strike. so as we hear the presentations today and make this dramatic witness, let us not forget those people and let us also remember that two weeks ago yesterday, some 350 students from tuskegee alabama and alabama state made a
dramatic witness here until 1:30 in the morning waiting to present a dpomt to the governor and he refused to see them. some of them rode horses and beat down people from booker t. washington and alabama state and tuskegee because they were trying to maintain the totalitarian government in the state of alabama. and you do that through police force. the question of police brutality is something that the nation must address itself. there's one man in the united states notwithstanding all of his greatness who must address himself to that problem and that's the president of the united states. thank you. [ cheers & applause ] >> we will now have mrs. amelia
boynton to read to you a petition. mrs. boynton from selma, alabama. [ applause ] >> petition to the honorable george c. wallace issued of god, citizen of the united states and governor of the state of alabama. we, as citizens of alabama citizens of many states in our united states and of citizens of several foreign countries come praying the blessing of god upon you and we. many responsibilities that are yours to discharge.
we competitioning you to join us in spirit and in truth. and what is history's and america's movement toward the great society. a nation of justice where none shay prey upon the weakness of others, a nation of plenty where greed and poverty shall be done away, a nation of brotherhood where success is founded upon service and honor given for nobleness alone. we have come to represent the negro citizens of alabama and freedom loving people from all over the united states and the world. we have come not only since five days and 50 miles but we have
come from three centers of suffering and hardship. we have come to you, the governor of alabama to declare that we must have our freedom now. we must have the right to vote. we must have equal protection of the law and to police brutality. when the course of human events so denies citizens of this nation and of the right to vote a right to adequate education and opportunity to earn sufficient income. and when legal channels for real changes are both slow and costly, people must turn to the rights provided by the first constitution of the united states. we must appeal to the seat of
government with the only peaceful and nonviolent resource at our command. our physical apparent and the moral power of our souls. thus we present our bodies with this petition as the living -- of this state produced a man who savagely attacked and killed the reverend james reed. we call upon you governor wallace to declare your face in the american creed to declare your belief in the words of the declaration of independence that all men are created equal. we call upon you to establish democracy in alabama by taking the step necessary to assure the registration of every citizen of voting age and of sound mind, by ending the poll tax in the state
election, by opening the registration book at times when they are convenient to working people such as nights and saturdays, by encouraging the cooperation of county officials and the democratic process and by appointment of negro citizens to the boards and agencies of the state and policy making positions. we call upon you to put an end to police brutality and to ensure the protection of the law to black and white citizens alike. we call upon you to end the climate of violence and hatred which persist in this state by denouncing all who would use violence in the propagation of their beliefs and by avoiding the perpetration of racism through official statements and political addresses.
[ applause ] >> can you hear me? i want to know because now i want to hear you. do you approve of this petition? do you approve that this will be the only petition that we will now send to governor wallace? those who favor say aye. [ aye ]. the opposed nay. the ayes have it and the motion is carried. dr. martin luther king our leader, has appointed the following persons to go and present this petition to the
governor of the great sovereign state of alabama with instructions that this petition comes from dr. king. it comes from you. it comes from the poor negros of the black belt and negros all over the state of alabama. the following persons are to compose the committee as appointed by dr. king. the reverend joseph echols, lowery, vice president of the christian southern leadership conference of birmingham alabama. the chairman. the reverend freed reese, selma alabama. dr. ka shan of huntsville
alabama. attorney fred t. great of montgomery alabama. dr. a.g. gaston of birmingham alabama, reverend rogers tuscaloosa alabama. bishop e.p. merchantson of birmingham alabama. dr. gamillion of tuskegee, alabama. and dr. foster the president of tuskegee institute -- [ cheers & applause ] -- mr. albert turner of marion, alabama. the reverend fred shuttlesworth
of birmingham, alabama. reverend joseph l. winger a white lutheran minister of birmingham, alabama. mrs. a.p. boynton of selma, alabama. attorney ozzy billingsly, birmingham alabama. mr. ru fuss, montgomery, alabama. and mr. dick dren nonof the university of alabama a white student. and the reverend jesse douglas of montgomery, alabama. if you approve of this committee, say aye. [ aye ].
>> the committee is now instructed to meet for final instructions in the auditorium of the dexter avenue baptist church just one block away here in the shadow of the capital with our leader dr. king after the benediction has been pronounced. we will now return to our national leaders, mr. james farmer could not be here today because of illness. but we do want mr. jim pitt to tell us where the corps is behind the movement of freedom. mr. pitt. >> i want to bring greetings from jim farmer.
and i want to tell you that there are a lot of corps people in the march from all over the country, from as far away as the west coast. as more myself, some of you know i have a little souvenir from alabama, 53 stitches in my head which i got on the freedom ride. but at least i'm alive whereas my friend bill moore is dead. and it is appropriate today to talk about bill moore because he is perhaps the first man to attempt a freedom walk across the highways of alabama. and he was killed in the attempt. that was the postman who decided to personally cross alabama and mississippi two years ago and deliver a letter to rose barnett appealing to his conscience.
but bill never reached jackson because he was shot down about 20 miles east of gadsden. and the corps who tried to follow and complete his walk, were met by the troopers and cattle prods and probably arrested. i came down here at that time to give a memorial service for bill moore at that point on the roadside where he was murdered. and i said at that time that i hoped that i would see the day in a not too distant future when it would be possible to conduct a freedom walk across the highways of alabama. that day has come. and all that i regret is that bill moore is not alive to see it and to be with us today on
this great freedom walk. [ applause ] >> i am delighted to present to you now one of the finest young men i have had the privilege of knowing in my life. like myself he is a product of alabama. he comes to the spot liektlight and has assumed leadership in this nation from just 50 miles away down in troy, alabama. let us hear the leader of the courageous students of the student nonviolent coordinating committee, mr. john lewis.
[ applause ] >> my fellow freedom fighters. as ralph said as a native of troy, alabama, just 50 miles from here, i'm happy to be able to stand here and share this great moment in history with men like martin luther king and other great men in this great march and struggle for freedom. this is the greatest and perhaps if most significant demonstration in the history of the civil rights movement. just a few weeks ago governor wallace said there would be no march from selma to montgomery. he used his troops to beat us down on march 7th with billy clubs, tear gas and horses. but you, the freedom loving people from alabama said that you had a constitutional right
to march and that you were determined to march and you did march. the president of the united states len don johnson made it clear to the people and crystal clear to the governor wallace that the state of alabama is still part of the union. need a doctor? we the negro people of alabama have been economically exported politically denied but also dehumanized from the vicious system of racial discrimination. hundreds and thousands of you have gone to jail over and over again in alabama in marion, in selma.
and today you stand here as a living witness to the fact that you want to be free and you want to be free here and now. i think again that the president of the united states made it clear by responding to your demand that we would get your vote all based oun one man one vote, that is age and residence. that all of the negro people of alabama, mississippi and throughout the south would be able to register and vote. i know that many of you are tired. you're tired of being beaten arrested and jailed simply because you want to be free. some of you right here have tilled the saw, laid the tracks, picked the cotton cooked the food and nourished the baby for a little pay or no pay at all.
but we are saying to the state of alabama today saying to governor wallace that we're tired of being voiceless tired of being invisible in the political arena in the state of alabama. that we want to participate in this government. and we want to do that right here and now. when any system denies the people a right to vote i's not asking just for a battle, but it is demanding a war. and we are involved in a nonviolent war. we have involved in a nonviolent revolution. we don't have guns. we don't have billy clubs. we don't have tear gas. the only thing we have is our bodies. our tired feet. the same feet that brought us
from selma to montgomery and our weary bodies will take us to victory right here in the state of alabama, right in the heart of the black belt. as we leave this march today we must go back into the black belt colonies, go down to the county courthouse and attempt to register and vote like we did in selma, in marion and also in wilcox county. the state of alabama and the negro people of this state will never be the same. for we are making it clear all over the world, not just in this state and in this nation, that our struggle is a struggle for freedom. matter not for this whether it's in selma, alabama or green wood, mississippi or johan nes burg south africa the struggle is
the same. a struggle for freedom and human dignitary. i think a lot of people across this country are saying that we're tired, we're tired of attending funerals of civil rights workers. too many people have been beaten too many people have been shot and even killed. we've had enough of that. we've had confrontation, but now is the time for all of us to make some serious decision. [ applause ] >> mr. whitney young, the director of the national urban league will bring us greetings at this time. let us listen now to this scholarly civil rights leader that has done so much for our
nation and for our people, mr. whitney young. [ applause ] >> reverend abernathy friends of freedom, one question has been asked me repeatedly by reporters today, is this march better or more significant than the august '63 march. this type of question need not be answered yes or in. they are different types of marches. this march shows our ability to move from the general grievances which we expressed so magnificently in washington, d.c. to the specific spagsituations. in this case the right to peatfully demonstrate and petition for the right tofpyb vote. it also shows our ability to mobilize not just in washington
d.c., and to mobilize in a united way. but it shows our ability to mobilize anywhere in this united states where human beings are denied their basic rights. and make no mistake about it, this we will do. i would like to ask the citizens, the white citizens of alabama a question. i would like to ask the white citizens of alabama how long, how long can you continue to afford the luxury of a political system and public officials who buy their rigidity and vulgar racism have today been responsible for bringing in federally controlled troops who today and even more so tomorrow will cost this state millions of dollars of federal funds for programs of education, health,
welfare, agriculture, highways, what have you, who have discouraged dozens of industries from coming into this state and providing jobs for millions of both black and white alabamians. how long, how long will you continue white alabamians to be the victims of this self defeating folly? i say you cannot afford this luxury luxury. far as soon as we have an old ancient decaying flag flying behind me, for as sure as we have here courageous people gathered, who as sure as we have ababsent governor who has not the guts to be here and face his citizens i say it to white alabamians, that as sure as
these things are true you cannot keep the negro a third class citizen without you being second class. finally, let me ask you three quick questions. people have said why are we here, why this march. very simply this march is to give a new courage to the silent white citizens of the state of alabama who fought too long have allowed the worst and the most ignorant elements of their population to speak for them. [ applause ] secondly we are here to give renewed courage and hope to negro alabamians as they walk not alone. you are as of this day, not an
island where other people are unconcerned. you are a part of america and we are a part of you. now this march will be meaningful only if you march with the same enthusiasm after the leadership of the president of the united states will have given us a voting bill, will you march to theae will you, furthermore, since the national urban league has been engaged in the last two or three weeks in bringing poverty programs programs of retraining and education in the state. we've had meeting in birmingham with leaders from all over the state. when those programs come here, if again the public officials are not stupid enough to veto them, if when they come, will you march your children to the
libraries? will you march yourselves to adult education centers and to retraining centers? will you march and continue to march and follow the great leadership of dr. martin luther king? thank you. [ applause ] >> it is my pleasure now to present to you the director of the civil rights department of aflcio mr. don slaman. two and a half hours ago these marchers arrived at the state capitol. this is murphy martin on the capital steps in montgomery, alabama. the 20th person to rise and march this podium is now there. he is don sladen of the afcio
civil rights division. we're just about to reach the high point of today's occasion as far as the marchers here are concerned, and that is the address of dr. matter rn luther king skejds to be the next speaker. a few moments ago an all-alabama delegation was named to take a petition to the governor wallace. governor wallace issued a statement which read i have stated publicly before this nation that it is and has always been my policy to see any representative group of alabama citizens when they present themselves in a proper and normal manner. i will receive a petition from any group of citizens of the state of alabama not to exceed 20 at any time after this demonstration and march has disbursed. i will not, i repeat, i will not
see any group of citizens whatsoever until after this demonstration and march has conclude and disbursed. and shortly after that came from the governor's office, the delegation was named all of them from the state of alabama, and they were instructed to meet immediately following the benediction at this meeting at the dexter street baptist church, there to confer with dr. martin luther king and then to proceed to the capital with a petition which was read and adopted unanimously by those in attendance here today. every major civil rights organization in this country, its leaders are here today, each of them with the exception of james farmer have spoke frn the platform. it was pointed out that james farmer was ill and could not be here. but every other major civil rights group has had a representative here includingí&piñ dr. ralph bunch, a. phillip
randolph, john lewis james forman, whitney young and dr. martin luther king expected to be hear in about two minutes. there has not been a great deal of sun hooin here in montgomery. about 30 minutes ago the only time since the marchers arrived at the capital there was some rainfall. but at the moment still just a gray overcast, no rain falling. the military security still prevails here. and that led to a side light that we observed a few!ñux moments ago as jim mcsheen, the chief of the united states marshal started to walk from the curb on the capital side of the street. he was challenged in the middle of the street by an mp who demanded identification. and jim mcshane pulled out proper identification, showed
them to the military police and was then allowed to proceed to the opposite side of the street. all the while for 2 hours and 34 minutes now, members of the alabama conservation have been stationed a the the lower steps of the capital and from time to time have been various members of the alabama legislature who have been on the steps witnessing the activities that take place below. master of ceremonies has been dr. ralph d. abernathy. he has been serving as master of ceremonies introducing the various civil rights leaders and calling for reports from the various cities in birmingham. most of the crowd has taken an opportunity from time to time to be seated. many of them are seated at this time. of course the majority are still standing and this is not by desire but more by necessity. excuse me.
the purse of ms. core reen watts. please bring tight the speaker stand after the program as mrs. watts came. and may mrs.il watts come to the speaker stand. will the drivers of the shuttle buses begin moving quietly now to your buses. i want everybody here to keep your position. if you are seated or iñ' standing, until the benediction is pronounced. this is a )3vnonviolent assembly. we came together and we will leave together. someone has just passed me a
wallet which was found. if you can identify it i will be happy to give it to you. this march is very costly. when fever you come up against the state where your tax money and my tax money is being used to keep you down then we must give liberally if we are to get up. please, if you have a contribution to give at the close of the service do not take it back home. but give it to me, for i am the treasurer of the southern christian leadership conference or to some of my associates. when you get back home, make your check to sclc and mail home to the southern christian leadership conference ap 334
auburn avenue, atlanta, georgia. or you may send them to the student nonviolent coordinating committee at 8 raymond street northwest, in atlanta, georgia. either way the movement will get it. i have just one other introduction and that is the first lady of the movement who in 1955 on on december 1st would not get up when everybody else was getting up and give her seat to a white man. come here, mrs. rosa parks.j(ñ [ cheers & applause ] the first lady of the movement, mrs. rosa parks.
raise your hands. >> reverend abernathy and all of the distinguished leaders of this nation and all of you wonderful freedom fighters my brothers and sisters and my children, because i have been called the mother of this, you see before you now a victim of all that has been perpetrated against one to make us less than human. as a very small child i had to hide from the ku klux klan to keep from getting killed or thinking i was going to be killed. my family were deprived of the land that they owned and driven off of it after they worked and paid for it. i did not have the opportunity to attend school as many have. and i am handicapped in every way. but i am expected to be a first class citizen. i want to be one. i have struggled hard. during my early days i will also be thankful for the naacp to
give me some direction to channel my activities for a better way of life. i'm also very thankful to dr. martin luther king who came to montgomery with this nonviolent christian attitude and loving your enemies. i've been in selma the last few days. i almost lost the faith. i almost didn't come here because so many people told me not to come here. and i said to myself i could not come here seeing what happened in selma. however i came here with a hope and faith. you can given me back that faith today. i want to say through the compliments of someone we were given leaflets about the communist school. that particular school has accused dr. king of being a student. he was not a student. but i was. and that particular school is responsible for me today not hating every white person i see. i learned at that time and that
place that there are decent people of any race or color. we're not in a struggle of black against white but wrong and right. right against wrong. thank you. many things i could say but i will not prolong the time so we must hear dr. king our leader. thank you. [ applause ] >> someone has suggested that we sing wubutnskl we're not going to sing. someone suggested that i acknowledge the presence of the people who are here from london and the people from canada and other foreign countries. i'm not going to do that. someone has suggested that i acknowledge the presence of so many outstanding dignitaries. i will not do that. i will only ask one to stand and represent the whole group.
the great novelist the great writer, mr. james ballway. [ applause ] >> in lieu of a song, i shall ask, what do you want? [ chanting freedom ]. >> what do you want? [ how much do you want? shucks now. god never leaves his people without a leader. when they were down in egypt land he caught up with a man who had fled and hid himself safely behind the hills and the mountains and was secure in the land of many.
god sent him back to lead the people. one day when he carried him on top of the mountain and summoned him from labor to reward he called a joshua and said, lead my people across the -- my dear and abiding friends ralph abernathy, to all of the distinguished americans seated here on the rostrum my friends and coworkers of the state of
blam and to all of the freedom-loving people who have assembled here this afternoon from all over our nation and from all over the world last sunday more than 8,000 of us started on a mighty walk from selma, alabama. we have walked through desolate valleys and across the trying hills, we have walked on meandering highways and rested our bodies on rocky byways. some of our faces are burned from the outpourings of the
sweltering sun. some have literally slept in the mud. we have been drenched by the rain. our bodies are tired. our feet are somewhat sore. but today as i stand before you and think back over that great march, i can say as sister polyp said a 70-year-old negro woman who lived in thiswçfe community during the busboy boycott. h person said aren't you tired? with her un )75qoy she
said, my feats is tired but my soul is rested. and in a real sense this afternoon we can say that our feet are fired but our souls are rested. they told us we wouldn't get here. there were those that said we would get here only over their dead bodies. all of the world today knows that we're here and we're standing before the forces of pow nerer in the state of alabama saying we ain't going to let nobody turn us around. [ cheers & applause ] now it is not on accident one of the great marches of american
history should terminate in montgomery, alabama. just ten years ago in this very city a new philosophy was born of the negro struggle. montgomery was the first city in the south in which the entire negro community united and squarely faced its age old 0 press oppressors. outv,wz of its struggle more than bus seg gre gags was won. a new idea more powerful than guns or clubs was born. negros took it and carried it across the south in epic battle that electrified the nation and the world.
set strangely the climatic conflicts were fought and won on alabama soil. after montgomery's confrontations loomed, up in mississippi, arkansas georgia and elsewhere, but not until the colo sus of segregation was challenged in birmingham does the conscience of american begin to plead. america was profoundly aroused by birmingham because it witnessed a whole community of negros facing brutality with hero courage. from the well ochs the democratic spirit, the nation forced congress to write
legislation in the hope that it would eradicate the stain of birmingham. the civil rights act of 1964 gave negros some part of their rightful dignity. but without the vote it was dignity without strength. once more the method of resistance was unseethed from his scab and once again an entire community was mobilized to confront the adversary. again, the brutality of a dying order streaked across the land. yes, selma alabama became a shining moment in the conscience of man.
if the worst of american life lurked in its dark streets the best of american instringss i rose passionately from across the nation to overcome it. and there was a moment in american history, more inspiring, and the pilgrimage and laymen of every race and faith pouring into selma to face danger at the sight of the negros confrontation of good and evil compressed in the tiny community of selma. generated the massive power, turned the whole nation to a new course. a president born in the south had the same certificate to fill the will of the country. and in an address that will live in history as one of the most
passionate pleas for human rights ever made by the president of our nation, he plead the night of the federal government cast off the centuries old blanket. president johnson writes the courage of the negro for awakening the conscience of the nation. on our part we must pay our profound respect to the white americans who cherish that democratic traditions over the ugly customs and presidents of generations come forth boldly to join hands with us from montgomery to birmingham from birmingham to selma from selma back to montgomery, wound in a circle long and often bloody.
yet it has become a highway from darkness. alabama has strived to defend evil, for evil is soaking to death in the dusty roads and streets of this state. so i stand before you this afternoon with the conviction that segregation is on its death bed in alabama and the only thing uncertain about it is how costly the segregation is and wallace will make the funeral. [ cheers & applause ] i will hold our whole campaign in alabama has been centered around the right to vote. in focusing the attention of the nation and the world today on the flagrant denial of the right to vote we are exposing the very origin the root cause of
racial segregation in the southland. racial segregation as a way of life did not come about as a natural result of hatred between the races immediately after the civil war. there were no laws segregating the races then. as a noted historian, in his book, he clearly points out, the segregation of the races was really a political strat jum employed by the urban interest in the south to keep the southern masses divided and southern labor the cheapest in the land. you see, it was a simple thing to keep the poor white masses working for mere starvation
wages in the years that followed the civil war. why, if the poor white plantation a meal worker became dissatisfied with his low wages the plantation or meal owner could merely threaten to fire him. and hire a former negro slave and pay him even less. thus the southern wage level was kept almost unbearably low. but toward the end of the reconstruction era something very significant happened. there developed who was known as the populous movement. the leaders of this movement began awakening the poor white masses. and the former negro slaves to the fact that they were being policed by the emerging interests. not only that but they began
uniting the negro in white masses into a voting block that's certain to drive the entries from the command post of political power in the south. to meet this threat, the southern ar stock kracy began immediately. i want you to follow me through here because this is very important to see the roots of racism and the denial of the right to vote. through their control of mass media, they revived the doctrine of white so premcy. they saturated the thinking of the poor white masses with it thus clouding their minds to the real issue involved in the populous movement. they then directed the placement on the books of the south of laws that made it a crime for
negros and whites to come together as equals at any level. and that did it. that crippled and eventually destroyed the populous movement of the 19th century. it may be said of the slavery era that the white man took the world and gave the negro jesus, then it may be said of the reconstruction era that the southern ar ris stock kracy took the world and game the poor white man jim crow. he gave him jim crow. and hen his wrinkled stomach cried out for the food that his empty pockets could not provide he ate jim crow, a siej logical bird that told him no matter how bad off he was with at least he was a white man, better than the
black man. and he ate jam crow. and when his undernourished children cried out for the necessities that his low wages could not provide, he showed them the jim crow signs in the buses, in the stores on the streets and the public buildings, and his children too learned to feed upon jim crow. the last outpost to psychological oblivion. thus the threat of the free exercise of the ballot by the negro and white masses alike resulted in the establishment of a segregated society. they segregated southern money from the poor whites. they segregated southerns from the rich whites. they segregated surgeon churches from christianity. and they segregated the negro
from everything. that's what happened and the negro and white masses of the south threatened to unite and build a great society. a society of justice when none would prey upon the weakness of others. a society of plenty where greed and poverty would be done away. a society of brotherhood where every man would respect thedyty and worth. we've come along way since that travesty of justice was purpose perpetrated upon the american mind. james wilson put it eloquently when he said we have come over the waves that with tears have been water. come treading our path through the blood of the slaughter, out of the gloomy past. we stand at last where the white gleam of our star is cast.
today i want to tell the city of selma, today i want to say to the state of alabama, today i want to say to the people of america and the nations of the world that we are not about to turn around. we on the move now. yes, we on the move and no wave of racism can stop us. we're on the move now. and the burden of our churches will not deter us. we on the move now. the bombing of our homes will not dissuade us. we on the move now. the beating and killing of our young people will not divert us. on the move now. the wanton release of the known murderers will not discourage us. we on the move now. like an idea whose time has come. not even the marching of mighty
armies can halt us. we're moving to the land of freedom. let us therefore continue our triumphant nra to the realization of the american dream. let us march on segregated housing until every social and economic depression is dissolved and negros and whites live side by side in decent safe and san toir housing. let us march on segregated schools until every ves taj of segregated education becomes a thing of the past and negros and whites study side by side in the social healing context of the classroom. let us march on poverty until no american parent has to skip a
meal so that their children may eat. march on poverty until no starved man walks the streets of our cities and towns in such a jobs that do not exist. let us march on poverty until stomachs in mississippi are filled and the idle industries of richmond have realized and revitalized and broken lives are mended and remolded. let us march on ballot boxes. march on ballot boxes until race baders disappear. from the political arena. let us march on ballot boxes until the misdeeds of blood thirsty will be transformed into the calculated good deeds of
orderly citizens. let us march on ballot boxes until the walls of our nation tremble away in sayilence, until we send 0 to our city council, state legislators and the united states congressmen who will not fear to do justy, love and walk humbly with our god. let us march or ballot boxes until brotherhood becomes more than a meaningless word in the opening of a prayer. let us march on ballot boxes until all over alabama god's children will be able to walk the earth in decency and honor. there is nothing wrong with marching in this sense. the bible tells us that the mighty men of joshua merely walked about the walls city of
jericho. the barriers to freedom came tumbling down. i like that old negro spiritual. joshua fought the battle of jericho. it's simple and colorful depiction, that moment in bib la call history that tells us that joshua fought the battle of jericho, joshua fought the battle of jericho. the walls come tumbling down. up to the walls of jericho a march with spear in hand go blow them ram horns joshua cried. because the battle am in my hands. these words i have given you just as they were given us by the unknown long dark skinned
originator. be these words in ungrammatical form, yet with emphatic pertinence pertinence. for all of us today, the battle is in our hands and we can answer with creative nonviolence the call to higher ground to which the new directions of our struggle summons us. the road ahead is not all together a smooth one. there are no broad highways that lead us easily and inevitably to quick solutions. but we must keep going. in the glow of my lamp light on my desk a few nights ago i gazed again upon the wondrous signs of our time full of hope and promise of the future. and i smiled to see in the newspaper, photographs of nearly a decade ago the faces so bright, so solemn of our valiant
heros, the people of montgomery. to this list may be added the list of all of those who have fought and died in the nonviolent army of our day. medgar medgar evers. william moore, the reverend james reed, jimmy lee jackson, the four little girls in the church of god in birmingham on sunday morning. in spite of this we must go on and be sure that they did not die in vain. the pattern of their feet as they walk through jim crow barriers and the great stride toward freedom is the thunder of the marching men of joshua and the world rocked beneath their
tread. my people my people listen. the battle is in our hands. the battle is in our hands in mississippi and alabama and all over the united states. i know that is a cry today in alabama. we see it in numerous editorials. when will martin luther king and all of these civil rights aj agitators and white clergy men and students and others get out of our community and let alabama return to normalcy. i have a message that i would like to leave with alabama this evening. that is exactly what we don't want and we will not allow it to happen. but we know that it was normalcy in marion that led to the brutal
murder of jimmy lee jackson. it was normalcy in birmingham that led to the murder on sunday morning of four beautiful unoffending innocent girls. it was normalcy on highway 80 that led state trooper to use tear gas and horses and billy clubs against unarmed human beings who were simply marching for justice. it was normalcy by a cafe in selma, alabama that led to the brutal beating of reverend james rev. it is normalcy all oef our country which leaves a negro perishing on the island of poverty in the midst of a ocean of prosperity. it is normalcy all over alabama that prevents the negro from becoming a registered voter. no, we will not allow alabama to
return to normalcy. [ cheers & applause ] only normalcy that we will settle for is the normalcy that recognizes the dignity and worth of all of god's children. the only normalcy that we will settle for is a normalcy that allows judgment to run down like waters and righteousness like a stream. the only normalcy that we'll settle for is the normalcy of brotherhood, the normalcy of true peace the normalcy of true justice. as we go away this afternoon, let us go away more than ever before committed to this struggle and committed to nonviolence. i must admit to you that there are still some difficulties
ahead. we are still in for the season of suffering. and many of the black belt counties of alabama many areas of mississippi, many areas of louisiana, i must admit to you that there are still jail cells waiting for us. dark and difficult moments. but if we will go on with the faith that nonviolence and its power can transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows we will be able to change all of these conditions. and so i plead with you this afternoon as we go ahead, remain committed to nonviolence. our aim must never be to defeat or humiliate the white man but to win his friendship and understanding. and we must come to see that the
end we seek is a society at peace with itself a society that can live with its conscience. and that will be a day not of the white man, not after the black man. that will be the day of man as man. i know you're asking today how long will it take. somebody is asking how long will prejudice blind the visions of men and darken their understanding and drive bright eyed wisdom from a sacred throne. somebody is asking when will wounded justice lying prostrate on the streets in selma, and birmingham and communities all over the south be lifted from the dust of shame to reign supreme among the children of men. some are asking when will the
radiant start of hope will plucked from the bozment of the night night. how long will justice be crucified and truth buried. i cam to say to you this afternoon, however difficult the moment, however frustrating the hour it will not be long because truth crushed to earth will rise again. how long? not long. because no lie can live forever. how long? not long. because you shall reap what you sow. how long? not long. truth forever on the scaffold forever on the throne. that saf fold sways a future. god within the shadow keeping watch on his own.
>> how long? not long. the mark of the universe is long but it bends towards justice. how long? not long. because my eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the lord. he's traveling out to visit where the grapes of wrath are stored. he's loosed the faithful lightning of his terrible swift sword. his truth is marching on. he's sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat. he's at the hearts of men before his judgment seat. be swift, my soul, to answer me. be jubilant my feet. our god is marching on. glory hallelujah. glory hallelujah. glory hallelujah. glory hallelujah.
his truth is marching on. [ cheers & applause ] >> who is our leader? [ chanting dr. king ]. >> who is our leader? who is our leader? who is our leader? who is our leader? god bless you dr. martin loout ear king's address to the march on montgomery. reporting from the alabama state capital. >> we are going to sing now. we shall overcome. and following the singing of "we shall overcome", dr. edwin tenor, the executive secretary of the american baptist convention who is the official representative of the national council of churches here today
>> black and white together. ♪ black and white together, black and white together ♪ ♪ black and white together ♪ ♪ oh, deep in my heart, i do believe ♪ ♪ we shall overcome some day ♪ >> we are not afraid. ♪ we are not afraid we are not afraid ♪ ♪ we are not afraid today ♪ ♪ oh, deep in my heart, i do
us and keep us, made the lord shine his face upon was, may the lord lift up the light of his continue innocence upon us and to give us peace both now and forever more amen. ♪ deep in my heart, i do believe ♪ ♪ we shall overcome somedy ♪ >> let us go back home and arrange a mass meeting where we will come. dr. king and i will come and make the report to you from the governor, arrange a mass meeting and wait to hear from governor wallace. let us leave singing we shall overcome. ♪ we shall overcome ♪ >> you did a great job. >> god bless you.
montgomery and the state government and the people of this state and the official dome of this state was maligned and talked about and yet there wasn't a single incident that took place on the route of the march, a 50-mile march from selma to montgomery and not a single incident happened insofar as alabamians are concerned that would reflect discredit upon this state. and i want to thank the people of alabama, both races for their commendable restraint. and i hope they'll continue this commendable restraint tonight, tomorrow and from now ou throughout the state of alabama. these people did not have to come here today in the manner in which they did. since being governor of alabama it has been my policy to talk with any of our citizens about any of the problems and the
affairs of state government. i have constantly stated by views of voting and that is that any citizen is entitled to vote is eligible. i've said that i was against discrimination in the manner of voting not only in the state but any state of the union because of color. i would like to point out again to the american people that the voter registration and requirements in dallas county, alabama and every county in this state is now pending in a federal court suit. i regret, of course, to hear and am display mayed that the attorney general said that the courts are too slow. i think this is something that the american people should reflect upon, that the courts are too slow as he said to handle any grievance by the people of this county. in effect he was inviting mob demonstrations and violence. today people have witnessed a demonstration of enwhich
included sub versives many convicted felons and communist sympathizer sympathizer, activists in other revolutionaries. we've seen the beet nicks, some misguided and misled people who have been used by the professionals who organized this mob. this week long march has required the unitization of practically all of the alabama highway police as well as over 4,000 federalized national guards men. hit has cost $1 million of the taxpayers of our country. today you've seen a prostitution of lawful process and a capital of a state of this nation immobile lazed. the word activist and revolutionaries are not mine but those of the jewish rabbi from pittsburgh, pennsylvania who came to our state to join what he believed to be a legitimate demonstration of human rights and left seeing of the demonstration leaders, quote they wanted dead bodies, our
bodies. this acceptance of a petition is no issue. for a petition will be accepted by any group of people in a normal and orderly process and without surrender to mob bock kracy. we have every hope that in the interest of these united states that we've seen the last of this type of march demonstration. the right of assembly has been carried beyond all rhyme and reason. if an orderly and lawful society is to be preserved in this nation such demonstrations must not be allowed to continue. they said today that these types of demonstrations will would be carried out throughout every state in the nation. no nation in the history has been able to survive but recognize has been flaunted by revolutionaries who say they obey only those laws which they approve and only the laws they consider to be just. i would like to ask this question of the american people.
the national prez and news media has misled the people of this nation. as i point ud out the other day on a nationwide program about selma and about alabama. this jewish rabbi, he was misled. i wonder is the news media misleading people about vietnam? if they are this is a sad commentary of the affairs in our country. i see where ralph bunch, the united nations man was here today supposed to be defending us from the communist but he today was consorting with known members of the communist party. a member of the young communist league was here. and a man who served 28 months in the federal prison camp for having failed to register for the draft during world war ii and who refused to defend this country, fight for it and also
is a convicted sex pervert. the news didn't report that kaul believe was here a moon convicted in the state of kentucky and served a year on contempt of congress because he rerefused to answer the question are you a member or have you been a member of the communist party? we have a group of students here raised money for people shooting down american flyers and taking american lives. are these the sort of people today leading demonstrations for the right and justice. i hope this demonstration is a warning for the people of this country. you are next. the committee that was appointed to submit a petition to me contain people who are subversive, a number and they also convicted felons on this committee and even nonresidents.
i sincerely hope that all of the people of this state will continue to exercise patience and restraint. but i hope the american people can be warned this issue is not selma, alabama. this issue is not montgomery, alabama. this issue is whether these united states shall be preserved and whether we shall surrender to mob accuracy in the country that has been witnessed today in the city of montgomery, alabama. i would also like to point out and make this statement. that the president of the united states himself said the other day, and it's widely quoted in the press, that he would not see people who came and lay down in the white house. and of course we have taken the same position in our state. and i think of course that is a good position. i again want to stay in my statement given today that i'll be happy to see a group of repres