Interview with Herbert Brownell, Jr.
QUESTION 22
INTERVIEWER:

WHY WAS IT THAT HE CHOSE TO USE THE 101st INSTEAD OF FEDERALIZING THE NATIONAL GUARD?

Herbert Brownell, Jr.:

He did both. He federalized the National Guard to be sure that they were directly under his command. And he selected the uh, 101st airborne division first because he had known them and their capabilities when he was commander in chief uh during the uh, World War II and that they were close by and they could be transported quickly uh, and efficiently and uh, he took the position which in the light of history turned out to be a very wise decision uh that uh if he was going to intervene, which he did not want to do, he did not want to get into the Little Rock situation unless it was necessary to prevent violence and to enforce the constitution. Then he would go in with sufficient force to prevent uh, injuries and deaths, so that he said once you intervene, intervene with enough power, so that you can do it quietly and efficiently and without casualties. And that's what occurred.