tv George Wallace Campaign Film CSPAN May 8, 2016 5:15pm-5:47pm EDT
all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. announcer: each weekend, "road to the white house: rewind" brings you campaign films. 1960 eightthe presidential campaign film of george wallace, the democrat best known who supported racial segregation. this film chronicles his push to get on the california ballot. eventually, governor wallace succeeded getting on the ballot in all 50 states. he came in third in the general election, receiving 13.5% of the vote and winning five states. republican richard nixon won the presidency that year in a tight race over hubert humphrey. this half hour film is courtesy over the alabama department of archives and history.
mr. wallace: i am pleased to announce this morning that more than 100,000 telephone ends have registered as members of the american independent party to give us assistance in getting a place in the california ballot in next year's general election. i want to thank the countless californians who have done so much to assist us. i point out these people are representative of millions of americans who are generally concerned about the current direction being followed by our national leadership. ♪ >> ♪ walking in the sunshine sing a little sunshine song put a smile upon your face because there's nothing wrong think about, forget about your worries ♪
announcer: the wallace victory in california did not come easy. when george wallace brought his southern style camping to california's, it did not come easily. southern traditions and national issues have in the past appeared too much at opposite poles. apparently, wallace wasn't bothered that his down-home campaign, complete with gospel singing, bewildered some people. by getting enough signatures to appear on the california primary, wallace had proven more significantly that he headed a significant political movement, which must be reckoned with. so, while political observers tried to predict his next move, wallace kept on moving, talking with people in all parts of california, gaining new strength and support every day.
here was a strong, new leadership that excited and pulled at you. here was a national voice that californians and millions of americans could rally behind. here was george c. wallace, a new political force in america. [waves crashing] >> everything said about 40-year-old george wallace would fill volumes. one constant comment heard, whether it be pro or con, is that "i admire his courage." courage is certainly one basis of his appeal. but there is another part, too. wallace is a southerner who was has universal support and appeal
that is not clearly obvious at first glance. he communicates. he talks in a language that people can understand and few politicians can match his uncanny ability to grasp the real issues and concerns of the american people in any area. he is truly a man of the people. it is because of these talents that he caught political observers off-balance in 1964 when he captured more than a quarter million votes in the wisconsin primary. then, 30% of the democratic reverential primary vote in indiana. and 43% of the primary vote in maryland. but if he is underestimated by some, it's not because he sidesteps any issues. he gets right down to the case. [applause] wallace: last year you voted on the matter of home ownership. but you voted wrong according to the pseudo-intellectuals on the court. they struck it down and both
national parties are recommending a long today on the congressional level that would put you in jail without a trial by jury if you do not want to sell or lease your property to someone. that is been thought of by this pseudo-intellectual crowd that who doesn't think you have sense enough to know who you want to sell or lease your own property to. another thing they have to be strong about is the threat to the internal security of our country by the breakdown of law and order. and it's a sad commentary when you cannot walk on the streets or parks in our large cities. and if you go out in this building tonight and somebody knocks you in the head, the person that knocks you in the head is out of jail before you get to the hospital. and on monday morning, they will try the policeman, they will not try the person that knocked you in the head. we are going to try criminals on monday instead of the policeman. [applause]
mr. wallace: the supreme court of our country has handcuffed the police. they have rendered decisions today that are absolutely ludicrous and asinine. turning self-professed murderers loose. or more people you have read about it. when they turn somebody loose, a murderer, some pseudo-intellectual tells us he is not to blame, society is to blame. his papa didn't take him to see the los angeles rams when he was a little boy. [laughter] mr. wallace: we had a case in our state that the supreme court will destroy every neighborhood school in california. tehy already started destroying them this last year in detroit, chicago, and in new york. in washington, they ruled you have to transport the children across state lines.
now this decision rising from a case in alabama will take your children and transport them across the other side of the city and across the los angeles county and the other counties. now if you folks in california want todo that, if you put your children on a bus every day, send them across california every day, you do just that. you do whatever you want to do. but you decide to do it yourself. don't let somebody 3000 miles away right every guideline for the education of your child. that's all we are talking about. and we had a case last year that rose in alabama. we have freedom of choice in our state. and you can choose to go to any school you choose to, regardless of your race. but last year, the justice department filed a suit, and they said, not enough people on this side of the chart choose to
go to school on the side, and not enough people in alabama chose to go across town to go to school, and vice versa. we said, they could have chosen if they wanted to. what are we going to do about it? and there as was, that's your problem. you work it out. and if you don't work it out, we are going to take away your money. not any such thing as federal funds. they are taxpayer funds. i'm tired of people saying alabama gave you money. you gave the citizens of the state of alabama money. you gave the citizens of the state of california money. you give the government money. when they send it back to you, they say they won't say how they can spend it. we'll attach a lot of strings. that you who paid into the treasury will get it back. well, in that decision, they ruled that we could keep freedom of choice, if it worked. if it works they get , to choose over here and vice
versa. you will have to assign them yourself and make them go. another the point we are trying to raise is, you ought to run schools any way you want to. now there is another matter that everyone has talked about and there are no simple solutions , too. and that is our involvement in southeast asia. we could talk all night about the matter of the 17th parallel french indochina and the geneva accord. but suffice it to say, we are in vietnam. and 500,000 american serviceman are totally committed at this moment between life and death. and some of them are being killed at this very moment. as a matter of fact, i just met the motel owner, and the owner shook my hand. just eight months ago, her husband was killed in the battle in vietnam.
children.s two one of the first things we ought to do is reappraise our attitude towards western europe and our non-communist asian nations. they are doing so much better than those in western europe. western europe was rehabilitated after world war ii by the money of those of california and alabama, including those nations that we fought. i'm glad that we have a stable rehabilitated europe in economy's concern. that has been a barrier to further communist encroachment in that part of the world. even though we sold out the eastern european nations evidently at yalta, we still have a strong label western europe. we need us and they need them. we are not talking about kicking our allies out, just having eyeball to eyeball talk above the table and make them respect us more. it's as much your interest to be in southeast asia as it is for
us. if you don't go and help us and stop trading with those who do who are trading those with our enemies, we are going to cut foreign aid off and ask you to pay back that what you have gotten in the past. because the average -- [applause] wallace: the average man in this country doesn't understand that continuously pay money to nations that not only will not help us but will also help the vietnamese. have also devalued our dollar and has taken gold out of be country and that will detrimental. it has been devalued because of inflationary process is. we know what happened to the pound in england. because of no return to the english people. we better get our house in order or we are going to face that same problem here in these united states.
we ought to tell mr. de gaulle that you are not going to impair the dollar by the concerted efforts that you are making by taking gold out of our country. and if you continue to impair the dollar when you don't have to, we are going to put back on the books some of those billions of dollars that you owe us after world war ii and ask you to pay it back. i think that is a common sense approach. [laughter] -- [applause] announcer: wallace's victorious california campaign was unique. nothing like it had been accomplished before, although compass groups and interest had tried to gain position and found it impossible.
and because it had never been accomplished, unorthodox methods had to be used. for example, small groups of alabama volunteers commuting to and from california to direct and encourage volunteers. ♪ announcer: the wallace campaign started small and grew. more than enough signatures were obtained. this special way of running a campaign was brought about by the unusual nature of california politics. infighting, while, and to all political parties in all states, is rampant in southern -- in sunny california. two politicians, one republican, and one a democrat, simultaneously described each other's party members as "2 two million chiefs in search of
indians." there were two primary objectives to the campaign, to let californias know what wallace stood for. changing your mind means changing your party. in the wallace campaign, it had to be done in a two-month period. this is been the target of special education throughout california politics. changing your mind means , meaning itr party had to be done in less than a two month. . -- here is dr. david g. theelly, ph.d. at
university of california a los angelest, comments on the extreme difficulties of getting on the california ballot in the first place. and the special roadblocks encountered by the wallace campaign because of time and since. dr. farrelly: by the time people voted for governor -- getting 66,000 people to sign up for a new party is a difficult task. it is later determined the minimum size of the party. it could be argued that california laws make it difficult to have a third-party going. november and december are not the most politically active months. this is one obstacle. secondly, it is the strong tradition of the two party system, getting people to change their registration from
republican, democrat to a third-party. announcer: facing these problems, the wallace campaigners decided the only way to get voters to sign restriction blanks was to have the problem of doing so explained to them, quickly and honestly by the only means -- individually. >> say hello to the governor. if you would like to shake can send chat, you can do so. it only takes a a minute to minute to register. we have registrars that will register you in one minute. they will put him on the ballot in california. announcer: california law, in effect in 1968, states that 66,059 voters must reregister to qualify a candidate on the primary ballot. when the campaign kicked off, many political experts said wallace didn't have the appeal. but as weeks passed and the crowds grew, and enthusiasm was
obvious, these same experts begin reversing their earlier productions. the campaign kept moving. it was propelled along by the indomitable wallace spirit. and because of the very unique solutions found in the many complex problems by the small but effective wallace campaign. -- campaign staff. money is important to any campaign. but to get money, you must first get people willing to give. and also to believe what they are giving to. the wallace california campaign started in a political vacuum. the 1968 presidential race is far off in the minds of voters. timing is possible to to manipulate. then, approaching the january deadline, one of the coldest winter blasts in history hit sunny california. as if unseasonal weather wasn't enough, there were problems of working in southern california
itself. finding a home base. from somewhere to anywhere takes a half hour to an hour and a half depending on the freeways. then the wallace campaign staff faced the problems of political vision, swaying voters away from a long time party affiliation. and doing it with a skeleton staff. it was a maze of problems, where one problem triggers four. bad whether, no people. no people, no frustrations. -- no registrations. then no new followers and no donations. the net total of one viable day lost. but these are the risks inherent to the nature of politics. politics itself is a serious, strategic contest. the born politician relishes both the risks and the strategy. wallace and his staff have
weathered both success and failure. every politician has. but what makes it appealing? the convictions and the high stakes. people rarely get to see the other side of george wallace. george wallace: the man. my wifeace: when i met right after she finished high school, right around when she was 16 years of age. she was very pretty for one thing, and of course, i didn't realize how young she was. she was very pretty then as she is now. she was very pretty and there was a twist and a sparkle about her. like the man who meets his wife for the first time. there is just something about her. running for the legislature, she was too young to vote for me. wanting to when i was
elected in 1946. you are in a position to do things that you thought ought to have been done and should be done for the people of your state. i also like to go down to the county seat in barber county, , and also toton the little town that i was born and raised in and finished high school in. i see friends and reminisce. to theo occasionally go county courthouse, in clayton, alabama, and sit around, as is the custom in the rural south. and ited this immensely is a rich and warm experience to go back to the country with your hometown friends.
and i like people and large or small crowd's suit me and i enjoy being with -- crowds suit me and i enjoy being with people. announcer: the great majority of support is near home base. 60%hern california with of the state's total population and the los angeles greater metropolitan area is home to 6 theion persons and provides greatest number of registrations. it is according to the wallace campaign staff the one thing or for them. a small staff precludes blackening the state completely. it can't be done. are viable registrations from the northern area, it is impossible to cover the entire state as the southern area can be covered, even with the major difficulties inherent with the region. statistically speaking, the campaign faced disaster. it couldn't be done, polls and
predictions kept saying. but these predictions are merely the reflections of hard facts. one part of the real story can be found in the areas dissected specifically. areas in which the working men live swing easily to wallace. bell gardens, population, 30,000, democrat, 4-1. the end of the campaign, wallace claims more registered voters than the total of the democratic and republican parties. huntington park, a residential section bordering an industrial area. walls workers open an office and the area swings to wallace -- wallace workers open an office in the area swings to wallace. democrats go for wallace. for example, in the city of maywood, in december of 1966,
there are over 4000 democrats and nearly 2000 republicans. by the end of the campaign, democrats lose nearly 2000 of the faithful while the republicans lose nearly 1000. the reasons to change appear much alike. >> i give my support to governor george c. wallace. i feel that governor wallace really means what he says when he says that he will keep government in the hands of the individual states, thereby helping each state decide for itself its role in local government. >> i am in favor of the nomination of george c. wallace for the presidential candidate in 1968 because i believe he is the only man running for office today who will stand up for the men in vietnam to win the war by
making the joint chiefs of staff handle the situation there instead of the political intellectuals in washington. i'm from romania and -- the minorityd then groups from refugees to the first and second generations. all of the people make trouble and i want governor allace because i think he is good man to lead the country and the commoners. reregistration continues, strategy from the main office keeps names coming in constantly. the strategy boils down to is canvassed the area and moved to the next area. workers, it isme very close to trying to be in two places at the same time. there remains one basic problem.
there is only one george wallace. and the physical problems of distance and traffics are clues -- precludes fewer rallies of van george wallace wants. george wallace wants. all the while, there are problems in established areas. phone calls, meetings, business from alabama, all important, and each taking valuable time. morale and enthusiasm, a constant problem in any campaign, and california was no different. low, it can ignite anywhere in the campaign organization, spreading quickly from staff to workers -- high or low, it can ignite anywhere in the campaign organization, spreading quickly from staff
to workers. california law, aimed at keeping new parties out of california, proved not enough to stop the wallace grassroots movement. victory in california clearly pointed towards the way of new successes in other parts of the nation. already, some political experts were willing to state that couldor george c. wallace indeed be elected to president in 1968. speaking, the strength of wallace in southern states add up to some 150 electoral votes, a giant 270pingstone towards the electoral votes to put george wallace in the white house. grassroot wallace supports in the states outside of the south, coupled with the simple fact is that slightly more than one third of the
population is needed in the , dramatically projected governor wallace to the forefront of the 1968 presidential race. with working organizations and already demonstrated over appeal in states such as wisconsin, california, ohio, pennsylvania, indiana, the effort to elect george c. wallace president in 1968 was within reach. some so-called experts still need to be convinced, but one lesson learned from the campaigners in california was that they shouldn't mind being underestimated, not when you consider the results. george wallace is in touch with the people. sincerityhe depth and of their convictions, that there must be a change in our national government's foreign and a mastic policies. george wallace -- foreign and
domestic policies. busy talkinge is with the people and running a new national movement by the people that goes with him. step-by-step, growing stronger every day. mr. wallace: we are naturally most happy with the results of our california campaign, and with the results across the country also, the great groundswell of individual citizen interest that we tapped in1964 in our campaigns indiana, maryland, and wisconsin, has continued to rise and our campaign victory in california here in 1968 dramatically illustrates that this is a national movement which can no longer be denied or brushed under the rug. given the facts that people will speak in with your help, we
intend to continue on the fight for local government, for individual liberty and freedom, and for the freedom and pride of private property systems. to do so requires money and i hope you will do so in this great effort. to help in any effort would be wonderful. contributions, what for quick processing, your contribution should be sent to the wallace campaign, po box 1968, montgomery, alabama, 36103. this is one way that you can make sure that your voice is heard and that you have a candidate and a platform that you can support for the presidential race in november. because today there is not a dime's worth of difference in the democratic party, in the national democratic party, and their problems that confront the people of our nation. this is not a personal campaign
for george wallace or a campaign against anyone. it is a true, grassroots determination of everyone in america in the 50 states who, like you, are tired of false promises and the ever-growing influence of the federal government. together we will carry this fight forward with renewed energy and dedication. ♪ >> ♪ take a little sunshine song wrongis nothing think about, forget about your worries walking in the sunshine, sing a little sunshine song walking in the sunshine, sing a little sunshine song ♪ secretary.madam
we proudly give 72 of our delegate votes to the next president of the united states. [applause] ♪ [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] announcer: each week, "american history tv's" "reel america" archival films provides context to america's issues. >> we were in the war 100%.