Sunday, August 29, 2021

the last book I ever read (Truman by David McCullough, excerpt eighteen)

from Truman by David McCullough:

In a red-brick auditorium in Birmingham, Alabama, two days later, a hurriedly assembled conference of states’ rights Democrats, “Dixiecrats” as they now called themselves, waved Confederate flags and cheered Alabama’s former Governor Frank M. Dixon as he denounced Truman’s civil righs program as an effort “to reduce us to the status of a mongrel, inferior race,” then unanimously chose Governor Strom Thurmond of South Carolina to be their candidate for President, and for Vice President, Governor Fielding L. Wright of Mississippi. The Dixiecrat platform called for “the segregation of the races and the racial integrity of each race.” Their hope was to deny both Truman and Dewey a majority and thus throw the election into the House of Representatives.

Asked why he was breaking with the Democratic Party now, when Roosevelt had made similar promises as Truman on civil rights, Strom Thurmond responded, “But Truman really means it.”

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