DOCUMENT: Evidence

Newsreel: Strom Thurmond's Dixiecrat Days

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States Rights Party Platform 1948

Lott On Thurmond

In light of Senator Trent Lott's recent controversial tribute to outgoing Senator Strom Thurmond, below you'll find a 1948 newsreel report on the Dixiecrat convention that nominated Thurmond for president on a rabidly racist platform. Thurmond, then the South Carolina governor, opposed President Harry S. Truman's civil rights policies and carried four states, including Lott's Mississippi. During a December 5 celebration marking Thurmond's 100th birthday, Lott remarked that if the former segregationist had won in 1948, "we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years." Lott's recent remarks about Thurmond are virtually identical to statements the Republican made in 1980. And while Thurmond's politics have changed over the decades, his speech pattern hasn't, so here's what he says in the newsreel clip: "It simply means that it's another effort on the part of this president to dominate the country by force and to put into effect these uncalled for and these damnable proposals he has recommended under the guise of so-called civil rights. And I tell you the American people from one side or the other had better wake-up and oppose such a program and if they don't the next thing will be a totalitarian state in these United States." (1 page)