Interview with Nicholas Katzenbach
QUESTION 32
INTERVIEWER:

I'M GOING TO STOP YOU ON THAT ONE, BECAUSE THAT'S, THAT'S THE KIND OF REVERENCE WE JUST CAN'T QUITE WORK WITH, BUT, UM, OK NOW OF COURSE AFTER THAT, THEN THERE WAS A GREAT DEAL OF CONCERN ABOUT CONTINUING THIS, THIS MARCH, AND WHAT, WHAT WERE THE BASIC CONFLICTS ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT THESE MARCHERS SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO WALK TO MONTGOMERY?

Nicholas Katzenbach:

Well, the, the blacks wanted to continue their Selma-to-Montgomery march and uh, so they brought a lawsuit, it was decided by Judge Frank Johnson, U.S. District Court, a man of great courage, who decided that they did have the right to do so and, and uh, should be protected throughout the march. Our problem with the, always, in the Department of Justice's point of view was please, to Dr. King, please don't violate any law or court injunction. You'll get it overturned, but comply with the law. Uh, and uh, that was vindicated I think when uh Judge Johnson uh, did order that the march continue. Uh, the uh, Governor Wallace didn't want to pay that much money to protect them so he ended up telling President Johnson he was unable to guarantee their safety so it ended up with federalizing the national guard, Alabama Guard and uh, and uh the U.S. Government paying for that.