Interview with Nicholas Katzenbach
QUESTION 44
INTERVIEWER:

OK, ALL RIGHT LET'S STEP DOWN FOR A MOMENT NOW JUST KIND, OK, IF YOU COULD JUST KIND OF TALK TO US ABOUT THE, MOTIVATING GEORGE WALLACE THERE …

Nicholas Katzenbach:

One of the, one of the problems that constantly had in the South with, with demonstrations was that Southern law enforcement officials were perfectly willing to allow parades and demonstrations by whites uh, and they didn't allow them by blacks. And the reason for this was uh, that it uh, uh, less discrimination perhaps than the fact that it was a much more difficult job to protect a black demonstration than it was to protect a white demonstration. Uh, and they didn't, uh, they didn't enjoy doing that, so they would deny the parade license and so forth, and we would always insist that blacks have an equal right to march and parade to what the whites have, and you've got to enforce the law even handedly. But this did become expensive. So when you had something like that long march for I don't remember now how many days from Selma to Montgomery, the only way that you really could effectively enforce it was with troops to protect the blacks who were marching was, was with troops. Uh, uh Governor Wallace simply wasn't willing to pay the money to pay all those troops to protect the blacks who were marching from Selma to Montgomery. Uh, and so he told the president that he was unable to enforce the law and uh, so the same people, the Alabama National Guard, was put in federal service and the federal government footed the bill for protecting the blacks on the march.