Interview with Gov. John Patterson
QUESTION 51
INTERVIEWER:

(CUT. 14.) GOING BACK TO MONTGOMERY. PRIOR TO MONTGOMERY. YOU HAD MADE A STATEMENT THAT, AND THIS IS A QUOTE NOW, THAT THE STATE OF ALABAMA HAD THE MEANS, ABILITY AND THE WILL TO KEEP PEACE WITHOUT OUTSIDE HELP. AND YET, AND WE HAD THE EXPERIENCE IN BIRMINGHAM AND ANASTON. HOW DID YOU FEEL WHEN YOU HEARD THAT A FEDERAL MAN, SEIGENTHALER WAS YOU KNOW, UNCONCIOUS IN THE STREET AND YET YOU HAD MADE THAT CLAIM.

Gov. John Patterson:

Well, now nobody got hurt in the Anaston incident. The bus got burned. Nobody got hurt at the station in Birmingham, that I recall, somebody did get beat up here, 2 or 3 of them got roughed up here in Montgomery, but our people saved them from further harm. So I, I think that we were, we demonstrated that we were perfectly capable of maintaining order. We had unlimited forces to do so and I would have filled the jails full of people if it became necessary to do so to maintain order. No question about it. Now, I can't explain Mr. Seigenthaler, but if he came down here to represent the attorney general of the United States, he was forced to be with us as a liaison person, he shouldn't have gone down and got in the mob himself, you need experienced people to send into mobs and things like that. And he had no experience at all, other than possibly a newspaper man. And he just should not have gone down there. And when he went down there, he made it possible for this incident to happen, which was not a good thing for any of us, and it reflected on all of us, him included.