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Gov. George Wallace campaigns in Cape

Posted Monday, October 29, 2012, at 12:00 AM

Former Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace brought his third-party candidacy to Cape Girardeau Wednesday, Sept. 18, 1968 and addressed a large enthusiastic crowd at Arena Park. Here, Mr. Wallace tells the grandstand crowd what he would do as president while security officers watch, reporters take notes and photographers snap pictures. Facing the camera in left foreground are Scott County Sheriff John Dennis, left, and Arthur Bruce, Sikeston chief of police who were here as part of the extensive security given to the candidate. (Associated Press photo by Fred Waters)

The stands at Arena Park were packed as former Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace addressed his area audience this forenoon. They greeted his comments with shouting and applause. Security was tight during the visit. Note Cape Girardeau police officers atop the roof of the grandstand. (Photo by Bill Hampton)

Third-party presidential candidate George Wallace walked in front of a crowded grandstand at Arena Park, Sept. 18, 1968. (Southeast Missourian photo)

Sept. 18, 1968 Southeast Missourian, excerpt

Wallace Beams Appeal to Individual Voter

by Cecelia Sonderman, Missourian Staff Writer

An enthusiastic, cheering crowd heard George C. Wallace, third-party candidate for president, tell them at a rally in Arena Park this afternoon what they apparently wanted to hear: that they, the people, are the important movement in this country.

He enlarged upon his remarks by saying that if elected president he will return to the people the right to control their schools, their children, certain aspects of the labor unions and their properties.

Throughout his talk, often interrupted by loud applause, and, at times, standing ovations, Mr. Wallace appealed to the individual voter, while at the same time, assailing the newspapers in general.

"But not all the newspapers," he was careful to remark.

The audience, conservatively estimated at 6,000 persons, was comprised of persons from over the Bootheel area, considered a key section in the overall state political picture.

A count might have shown the crowd was made up of two women to every man. There were many youths, come from high school government classes over southeast Missouri. Others were apparently of college age.

There were also Democratic county office holders in the audience, possibly assessing the reaction of the group to the presidential contender's remarks.

Many straw hats bearing Wallace bands were seen, and one large Mexican sombrero also had a Wallace hatband.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Wallace said, "We are now on the ballot in all 50 states. This movement is not sectional, it is national."

He said he now feels he will get a little more than the needed 270 electoral votes as the American Independent Party candidate for president.

"And this is shaking the leadership of both parties--Democrats and Republicans."


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I spent several days on the campaign trail with NC Gov. Terry Sanford and was in the darkroom printing the photos of the trip when the word came over the radio about Wallace being shot.

My first thought was that this might boost Sanford's chances in the race to POTUS (he was one of the few politicians I ever covered that I thought was a good candidate). It was not to be, though.

-- Posted by ksteinhoff on Mon, Oct 29, 2012, at 10:18 PM

I was fortunate enough to be one of those high school students in attendance. At the time, I felt he was a little bit of a racist, as most of his initiatives were in opposition to the federal government's enforcing civil rights. That was just my take on him. He was charismatic; even I cheered at some of his statements. I believe he mellowed out after being shot. A footnote in history...

-- Posted by Hugh M Bean on Wed, Oct 31, 2012, at 9:58 AM


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Fred Lynch has captured images for the Southeast Missourian since 1975, in that time moving from black-and-white to color, from film to digital and to video. The blog title is a nod to an earlier era of news photography and the 4x5 Speed Graphic: It's more important to be there for the shot than to worry about technical details.

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