Posts Tagged ‘Governor George Wallace

20
Mar
09

On This Day, March 20: LBJ vs George Wallace

March 20, 1965

LBJ sends federal troops to Alabama

On this day in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson notifies Alabama’s Governor George Wallace that he will use federal authority to call up the Alabama National Guard in order to supervise a planned civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery.

Intimidation and discrimination had earlier prevented Selma’s black population–over half the city–from registering and voting. On Sunday, March 7, 1965, a group of 600 demonstrators marched on the capital city of Montgomery to protest this disenfranchisement and the earlier killing of a black man, Jimmie Lee Jackson, by a state trooper. In brutal scenes that were later broadcast on television, state and local police attacked the marchers with billy clubs and tear gas. TV viewers far and wide were outraged by the images, and a protest march was organized just two days after “Bloody Sunday” by Martin Luther King, Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). King turned the marchers around, however, rather than carry out the march without federal judicial approval.

After an Alabama federal judge ruled on March 18 that a third march could go ahead, President Johnson and his advisers worked quickly to find a way to ensure the safety of King and his demonstrators on their way from Selma to Montgomery. The most powerful obstacle in their way was Governor Wallace, an outspoken anti-integrationist who was reluctant to spend any state funds on protecting the demonstrators. Hours after promising Johnson–in telephone calls recorded by the White House–that he would call out the Alabama National Guard to maintain order, Wallace went on television and demanded that Johnson send in federal troops instead.

Furious, Johnson told Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach to write a press release stating that because Wallace refused to use the 10,000 available guardsmen to preserve order in his state, Johnson himself was calling the guard up and giving them all necessary support. Several days later, 50,000 marchers followed King some 54 miles, under the watchful eyes of state and federal troops. Arriving safely in Montgomery on March 25, they watched King deliver his famous “How Long, Not Long” speech from the steps of the Capitol building. The clash between Johnson and Wallace–and Johnson’s decisive action–was an important turning point in the civil rights movement. Within five months, Congress had passed the Voting Rights Act, which Johnson proudly signed into law on August 6, 1965.

“LBJ sends federal troops to Alabama.” 2009. The History Channel website. 20 Mar 2009, 09:29 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=52558.

On This Day

1413 – Henry V took the throne of England upon the death of his father Henry IV.

1525 – Paris’ parliament began its pursuit of Protestants.

1627 – France & Spain signed an accord for fighting Protestantism.

1815 – Napoleon Bonaparte entered Paris after his escape from Elba and began his “Hundred Days” rule.

1896 – U.S. Marines landed in Nicaragua to protect U.S. citizens in the wake of a revolution.

1900 – It was announced that European powers had agreed to keep China’s doors open to trade.

1918 – The Bolsheviks of the Soviet Union asked for American aid to rebuild their army.

1922 – The USS Langley was commissioned. It was the first aircraft carrier for the U.S. Navy.

1933 – The first German concentration camp was completed at Dachau.

1934 – Rudolf Kuhnold gave a demonstration of radar in Kiel Germany.

1940 – The British Royal Air Force conducted an all-night air raid on the Nazi airbase at Sylt, Germany.

1952 – The U.S. Senate ratified a peace treaty with Japan.

1991 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that employers could not exclude women from jobs where exposure to toxic chemicals could potentially damage a fetus.

1993 – An Irish Republican Army bomb was detonated in Warrington, England. A 3-year-old boy and a 12-year-old boy were killed.

1997 – Liggett Group, the maker of Chesterfield cigarettes, settled 22 state lawsuits by admitting the industry marketed cigarettes to teenagers and agreed to warn on every pack that smoking is addictive.

March 20, 1945

British troops liberate Mandalay, Burma

On this day, the 14th Army, under British Gen. William J. Slim, captures the Burmese city of Mandalay from the Japanese, bringing the Allies one step closer to liberating all of Burma.

Mandalay, a city on the Irrawaddy River in central Burma (now Myanmar), was the center of the communications in Burma, as well as of rail, road, and river travel. The British conquered Mandalay, the second-largest city in Burma, in 1885. Burma as a whole was detached from India by the British in the Government of India Act of 1935 and made a Crown Colony with its own constitution and parliament. Burmese nationalists plotted with the Japanese in the late 1930s to wrest Burma from the British Empire and bring the nation within the Japanese Empire. Attempts by the nationalists to undermine the building of the Burmese Road (which would create an overland link between the West and China) and incite riots failed, and Burma remained a British colony.

On December 8, 1941, the Japanese took matters into their own hands and invaded Burma. Troops landed at Victoria Point, at the southern tip of the peninsula. Moving north, the Japanese troops, composed mostly of disgruntled Burmese nationals who fashioned themselves an army of liberation, determined to expel the Brits from their homeland, advanced on Rangoon, Lashio (the Burmese end of the Burma Road into China), and Mandalay, which fell on May 2, 1942. With the Japanese holding central Burma, China was cut off from the West-and Western supplies.

In early 1944, British Gen. William J. Slim, commander of the 14th Army, led an offensive against the Japanese that broke a siege at Imphal. By mid-December, buoyed by his success, Slim launched an offensive against Meiktila, east of the Irrawaddy River and a key communication post between Rangoon and Mangalay. A strategy of misdirection was employed, with one corps headed toward Mandalay even as Slim’s immediate objective was Meiktila. With the Japanese preoccupied with the first corps, a second corps took Meiktila on March 3, 1945, and Mandalay fell on the 20th. The 14th Army now controlled a significant swath of central Burma. Rangoon, the capital, would fall in May, returning Burma to British hands.

“British troops liberate Mandalay, Burma.” 2009. The History Channel website. 20 Mar 2009, 09:44 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6748

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20
Mar
08

On This Day, 3-20-08: Selma

Retired Marine Commandant comments on conduct of war

Retired U.S. Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Shoup estimates that up to 800,000 men would be required just to defend South Vietnamese population centers. He further stated that the United States could only achieve military victory by invading the North, but argued that such an operation would not be worth the cost.

Also on this day: The New York Times publishes excerpts from General Westmoreland’s classified end-of-year report, which indicated that the U.S. command did not believe the enemy capable of any action even approximating the Tet Offensive. This report, Shoup’s comments, and other conflicting assessments of the situation in Vietnam contributed to the growing dissatisfaction among a large segment of American society with the Vietnam War. At the end of the previous year, Johnson administration officials had insisted that the United States had turned a corner in the war. The strength and scope of the Tet Offensive flew in the face of these claims, feeding a widening credibility gap. Despite administration assurances that the situation was getting better in Vietnam, the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong had launched a massive attack at 3:00 A.M. on January 31, 1968, simultaneously hitting Saigon, Da Nang, Hue, and other major cities, towns, and military bases throughout South Vietnam. One assault team got within the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon before they were destroyed. In the end, the communist forces were resoundingly defeated, but the United States suffered a fatal strategic blow. The Tet Offensive cost the government the confidence of the American people and public opinion turned against the war.

“Retired Marine Commandant comments on conduct of war.” 2008. The History Channel website. 20 Mar 2008, 03:54 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=1740.

1525 – Paris’ parliament began its pursuit of Protestants.

1616 – Walter Raleigh was released from Tower of London to seek gold in Guyana.

1627 – France & Spain signed an accord for fighting Protestantism.

1792 – In Paris, the Legislative Assembly approved the use of the guillotine.

1815 – Napoleon Bonaparte entered Paris after his escape from Elba and began his “Hundred Days” rule.

1852 – Harriet Beecher Stowe’s book “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” subtitled “Life Among the Lowly,” was first published.

1865 – A plan by John Wilkes Booth to abduct U.S. President Abraham Lincoln was ruined when Lincoln changed his plans and did not appear at the Soldier’s Home near Washington, DC.

1868 – Jesse James Gang robbed a bank in Russelville, KY, of $14,000.

1890 – The General Federation of Womans’ Clubs was founded.

1897 – The first U.S. orthodox Jewish Rabbinical seminary was incorporated in New York.

1900 – It was announced that European powers had agreed to keep China’s doors open to trade.

1902 – France and Russia acknowledged the Anglo-Japanese alliance. They also asserted their right to protect their interests in China and Korea.

1906 – In Russia, army officers mutiny at Sevastopol.

1918 – The Bolsheviks of the Soviet Union asked for American aid to rebuild their army.

1922 – U.S. President Warren G. Harding ordered U.S. troops back from the Rhineland.

1922 – The USS Langley was commissioned. It was the first aircraft carrier for the U.S. Navy.

1933 – The first German concentration camp was completed at Dachau.

1976 – Patricia Hearst was convicted of armed robbery for her role in the hold up of a San Francisco Bank.

1985 – Libby Riddles won the 1,135-mile Anchorage-to-Nome dog race becoming the first woman to win the Iditarod.

LBJ pledges federal troops to Alabama civil-rights march

On this day in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson sends a telegram to Governor George Wallace of Alabama in which he agrees to send federal troops to supervise a planned African-American civil-rights march in Wallace’s home state.  “LBJ pledges federal troops to Alabama civil-rights march.” 2008. The History Channel website. 20 Mar 2008, 03:52 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=284.




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