Interview with Gov. George C. Wallace
QUESTION 31
INTERVIEWER:

TAKE 4. GOVERNOR IF YOU COULD JUST REPEAT TO ME WHAT YOU WERE SAYING THAT YOU TOLD COLONEL LINGO ABOUT TRYING TO DEAL WITH THE MARCHERS PEACEABLY BEFORE THE MARCH.

Gov. George C. Wallace:

I talked the Colonel Lingo the night I think before the sad affair on the next day and he was sick at that time with a bad, thing finger of some sort, some problem with it, and he was taking some pain medicine and I ordered him not to go to Selma, I put it in charge of Major Smiley who is now deceased, and I told him I said for goodness sakes don't let anybody do anything to cause any disturbance of violence. Now this thing when it happened at the bridge in my judgment was just something that happened. But remember this not a single person was harmed to the extent of having to be going to the hospital. There was no violence, beating people down and putting them in the hospital, not a single person was injured in that march, in that thing which I even was raged about because I had ordered them, but they told me that the people on the other side of the bridge they were trying to keep them getting through because they were afraid something might happen. But Lingo I'm sure didn't mean it that way but, Colonel Lingo didn't stay with our state government long after that he ran for mayor in Jefferson county and lost but I gave him orders to then, the, keep a low profile and please no, keep down any violence and if you had to arrest somebody white or black for violence use the least possible force necessary to put him under arrest.