By 1964 George C. Wallace, the Governor of Alabama, had become the national symbol of opposition to the civil rights movement and to federal governmental intervention to protect the rights of African Americans. In the address below he denounces President Lyndon B. Johnson for signing into law the 1964 Civil Rights Act and uses it as a rallying cry in his campaign to become President of the United States.
We come here today in deference to the memory of those stalwart patriots who on July 4, 1776, pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to establish and defend the proposition that governments are created by the people, empowered by the people, derive their just powers from the consent of the people, and must forever remain subservient to the will of the people.
Today, 188 years later, we celebrate that occasion and find inspiration and determination and courage to preserve and protect the great principles of freedom enunciated in the Declaration of Independence.
It is therefore a cruel irony that the President of the United States has only yesterday signed into law the most monstrous piece of legislation ever enacted by the United States Congress.
It is a fraud, a sham, and a hoax.
This bill will live in infamy. To sign it into law at any time is tragic. To do so upon the eve of the celebration of our independence insults the intelligence of the American people.
It dishonors the memory of countless thousands of our dead who offered up their very lives in defense of principles which this bill destroys.
Never before in the history of this nation have so many human and property rights been destroyed by a single enactment of the Congress. It is an act of tyranny. It is the assassins knife stuck in the back of liberty.
With this assassins knife and a blackjack in the hand of the Federal force-cult, the left-wing liberals will try to force us back into bondage. Bondage to a tyranny more brutal than that imposed by the British monarchy which claimed power to rule over the lives of our