Interview with Gov. George C. Wallace
QUESTION 29
INTERVIEWER:

JOE SMITHERMAN WAS A BRAND NEW MAYOR AT THAT TIME AND HE SAID TO US, HE ADMITS TO US THAT HE DIDN'T KNOW VERY MUCH ABOUT WHAT HE WAS DOING, HE HAD SO LITTLE EXPERIENCE, BECAUSE HE WAS A BRAND NEW MAYOR AT THAT TIME, JOE SMITHERMAN, AND HE SAID THAT HE TURNED TO YOU FOR GUIDANCE, I'D LIKE TO KNOW, WHEN DID YOU START TALKING TO HIM AND HOW DID YOU HELP HIM?

Gov. George C. Wallace:

I don't recall when it happened, when I talked to him, you know that's been so long ago, but I'm sure I talked to him because we were very good friends. I do know that I gave orders not to let what happened at the bridge there, order the Colonel who was sick at that time, not to go to Selma and put another a major in charge of the group and says, do nothing that would stir up any trouble there, just don't let anybody attempt to hurt anyone. And one reason they didn't want to go across the bridge at that time, and Mr. E. D. Nixon, leading the civil rights man here in Montgomery brought Dr. King here because there was a group of people on the other side of the bridge who we afraid were going to, so it was something that happened that that, enraged me because I didn't intend for it to happen that way. And I ordered them not to do any such as that because they were not fixing to march to the bridge, but I didn't want them to get beyond that point where there was some people that told me there might be some violence.**