The president spells out his authority to desegregate Alabama schools, by force if necessary.
Telegram from President Kennedy to Governor George Wallace of Alabama
May 13, 1963
In response to the question raised in your telegram of last night, Federal troops would be sent into Birmingham, if necessary, under the authority of Title 10, Section 333, Paragraph 1 of the United States Code relating to the suppression of domestic violence. Under this section, which has been invoked by my immediate predecessor and other Presidents as well as myself on previous occasions, the Congress entrusts to the President all determinations as to the necessity for action; the means to be employed and the adequacy or inadequacy of the protection afforded by State authorities to the citizens of that State.
As yet, no final action has been taken under this section with respect to Birmingham inasmuch as it continues to be my hope, as stated last might, "that the citizens of Birmingham themselves will maintain standards of responsible conduct that will make outside intervention unnecessary." Also, as I said last Thursday, in the absence of any violation of Federal statutes or court orders or other grounds for Federal intervention, our efforts will continue to be focused on helping local citizens to achieve and maintain a peaceful, reasonable settlement. The community leaders who worked out this agreement with a great sense of justice and foresight deserve to see it implemented in an atmosphere of law and order. I trust that we can count on your constructive cooperation in maintaining such an atmosphere; but I would be derelict in my duty if I did not take the preliminary steps announced last night that will enable this Government, if required, to meet its obligations without delay.
The personal journey of three generations of a Japanese American family, including their stint in internment camps during World War II.
The bizarre saga of the Symbionese Liberation Army and Patty Hearst's kidnapping and conversion to her captors' cause.
The story of a farm boy who rose from obscurity to become the most influential American innovator of the 20th century.
The converging forces, circumstances, personalities and events that propelled a group of English men and women west across the Atlantic in 1620.
Eleanor Roosevelt supported the President's New Deal and advocated for civil rights, becoming one of the 20th century's most influential women.
A revealing portrait of one of America's most paradoxical leaders.
Robert Noyce's invention of the microchip launched the world into the Information Age.
A biography of the 41st U.S. president, from his service in World War II to his days in the Oval Office. Part of the award-winning Presidents collection.